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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    July 6, 2011
    5:00 - 7:59pm EDT  

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the solutions are even more difficult, and while we may disagree on the path forward, i think we all know in our hearts that we can't get to a solution unless we all agree to come to the negotiating table willing to compromise, to ensure that our country, the united states, the largest economy in the world, can honor her bills and begin to pay down her debts. and that's the challenge, that's the problem, that's the opportunity, as i see it, that brings us to the senate floor today. now, madam president, we began the year with serious and i believe ernest conversations about this with not one but two groups of lawmakers in the house and senate. yet despite all the talk and hard work, rather than nearing an agreement, we seem to be coming to an impasse. in the last few weeks, the state of negotiations seem to have fallen apart with key players choosing to walk away rather
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than compromise. we hit the same roadblock that always inhibits a, when things get -- action when things get tough. politics get in the way. and in fact it seems like, madam president, everybody in the world except the congress seems to know that time is running out. just think back to april. standard & poor's cut the u.s. ratings outlook to negative, due to uncertainty over the budget deficits and the debt ceiling. this month moody's piled on warning that it, too, may downgrade the u.s. ratings's outlook to negative as early as july. it is july 6 -- because of concern over gridlock here in washington. and i have to say, the american people are running out of patience as well. back home in colorado, people are wondering what in the world we're doing here in washington. i wasn't up for reelection in 2010, but i was listening to what the voters were saying.
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they clearly said to us, they want us focused on jobs, the economy, and the debt. and they want us -- and they wanted us to work together. consider the direction i got recently from kurt, who is a constituent in nevada, colorado. he wrote, "i'm counting on to you put the interests of everyday americans above party politics and join yourologicallive colleagues on both side of the aisle in finding sensible solutions to our long-term national debt problem." many more coloradans have sent me similar messages. i got one from a boy supreme court, david in evergreen whose words are stronger than mine. he said, "think the united states should stop spend unnecessary money. weeshtwe should first focus on s necessary." it is amazing how much money our country owes. it is constantly going up. i just looked up information about the united states debt clock and i think this debt is
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way too high. people in the federal government, in washington, d.c., are spending money as if they had all the money in the world." david, if you're listening, i agree. madam president, no question americans want quality roads, a safety net for the sick and elderly, and strong investments in education and research that will spur innovation and good-paying jobs. but we need to commit to ensuring we have the financial stability to pay for them. for too long the american people have collectively been told by us here in washington that they can have more of everything they want without us fully paying for it. but to preserve a promising future for our children, for kurt's children, four david, we're going to need to face up to some hard truths. 50 years ago my father, former
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arizona congressman mo udall supported what should only seem natural -- tying spending directly to revenues. let me give you a couple of examples. if we want to give oil companies $1 billion in tax subsidy, then let's raise taxes by $1 billion to pay for them. the same thing, though, goes for overseas conflicts, agricultural subsidies, infrastructure, and, yes, even entitlements. coloradans from across my home state have told me they want to see their leaders try using some common sense, the kind of common sense americans use when they're faced with the hard job of balancing their own budgets when money is tight. as a senator, i've sog successfully led the fight to end wasteful earmark spending, proposed measures to cut redun tant government programs, demanded line-item veto for the president and, yes, pushed -- i see my colleagues from the other
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side of the aisle -- for a sensible balanced budget amendment to the constitution. but these measures only serve as tools to get washington to clean up its act and that isn't enough. we need to suck up our courage and actually make the tough budgeting decisions. and if we're going to get anywhere, we need to realize that we all have skin in the game and we've got to check ultimatums at the door. especially on issues like social security and taxes. madam president, the challenge facing us is so great, we can't ain order to let partisanship or electioneering get in the way. and both parties are guilty. elogy, we can't seriously address -- for example, we can't seriously address debt reduction without looking at social security. if we do nothing, by 2036 social security benefits will have to be cut by 20%. now, congress will undoubtedly be under enormous pressure to
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fill in that hole in lieu of telling seniors that they are benefit checks would be reduced. to say that social security, when you look at it that way, must be divorced from deficit reduction, as many democrats do, is to ignore the problem. now, in a similar vein, it is unrealistic to maintain, as my republican colleagues do, that raising revenues can't be a part of the deficit and debt reduction equation. we should all be honest enough to admit a simple fact: no amount of spending cuts alone will reduce our deficits without unreasonably harming social security and medicare. for some to say that revenues should not be part of the deficideficit-reduction pictures either a sign that they're not serious about getting our debt situation under chrome or they're being -- under control, or they're being disingenuous about the implications spending cuts alone would have on our hardworking constituents that
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rely on these important programs. now, madam president, what's so agonizing about the last six months is that we have a bipartisan solution in front of us, one that i know -- and i don't just believe, but i know would responsibly reduce our debt while also allowing the economy to grow and protect our middle class. in december 2009 -- i know the presiding officer and i, along with a number of others pushed for a commission on national reform which was then chaired by erskine bowles and alan simpson, a wyoming resident. they did an exhaustive study of what it would take to get our debt under control and last year they delivered a report on how to reduce the debt by over $4 trillion in the next decade, bend the curve back to a much more sustainable federal budget situation. they comprehensively addressed all of the issues that must be on the table -- namely, spending
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cuts, reasonable entitlement reform, and some new revenues. the plan has already received bipartisan support, including senators from each party who are members of the commission. rather than arguing, we could be acting on these recommendations. and, look, if we don't want to follow those exact recommendations, let's at least agree that everything must be on the table in these ongoing debt discussions. madam president, many of us here simply wnts to roll up our sleeves and get to work. i see some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. i know that they share that sentiment. even if our leaderships in both parties are demanding that we be quiet. but i think we can all focus our attention on a sensible bipartisan plan, work together and pass it into law before our national credit rate something downgraded and we damage our
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chances of winning the global economic race. the chair knows -- my colleagues know i'm not a particularly dramatic person, but i have to till, i really believe that nothing less than the fate of the u.s. economy hangs in the balance, and i'm certainly willing to stay here day and night, weekends and holidays in washington, d.c., to help put a plan in motion. madam president, thank you for your attention. i yield the floor. mr. coons: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: madam president, i rise to follow the comment commf my colleague from colorado. i appreciate the forebearance of my colleagues from new hampshire. i emphasize the sense of frustration that many of us feel in the senate. on the 4th of july as i went up and down the state of delaware to different parades and picnics and gatherings, i
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had the opportunity to meet with and talk to thousands of del delawareans. i would go up to men who wore hats that showed that they served in the war and thanked them for their service. i repeatedly i would hear the same thing back. we've done our job. we hope you'll do yours. when i was elected to serve here, i heard the same message from the folks across delaware that i just heard senator udall reflect from the people of colorado. help the private sector create good jobs, deal with the deficit and debt and do it in a bipartisan and responsible way. and i am gravely concerned that we are on the verge of the most predictable financial crisis in modern american history as we slowly grind towards the predicted deficit -- etion us could me, the predicted default on america's mortgage on august 12. -- on august 2. tim geithner has warned us with
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the letter that he sent us on january 6 with repeated testimony before various committees of the senate, we have gone well past the may 16 deadline and the department of treasury is now using administered measures to prevent us from defaulting on america's commitments. i have heard other analogies used, but they are missustain. this is not about cutting up the credit cards or ending the blank check for our current president. this is about whether we will continue to meet the commitments america has already made, whether we will continue to make the payments that we're already committed to, for our troops in the field, for contractors who are providing military supplies and equipment, for our federal workforce, and for all the different programs and benefits the senators that spoke before me mentioned. we cannot afford the consequences of default. one study says we would lose 640,000 jobs. americans needlessly thrown out of work just because after game
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of chicken. increases in the daily cost of living will go up needlessly if we fail to uphold the tradition of meeting our commitments as a nation. and i'm here to say today that we cannot afford to have america become a bad investment. the best thing that we can going forward to s. to restore certainty, to put some confidence in the american economy, to make certain that the international community continues to regard us as the safest and best investment in the world and the way to do that is to come together in a bipartisan way around a big deal, around $4 trillion in savings at least. the senator from colorado went in some detail into the bipartisan debt and deficit commission. chaired bier sin bowles and alan simpson, and the 11 members of that commission, ems of members of this body currently serving senators, republican and democrat, who came together around a plan that would make $4
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trillion in savings over the next decade. i think we should do no less than that. and i think the plan that we should be working on in detail now should include all four major areas where we have to have savings. reductions in discretionary domestic spending, reform to our entitlement programs, reductions in pentagon spending, and increases in federal revenue through tax reform. all four of these have to be on the table. in my view, our values ask no less than that. as we work through a recovery, we need to continue to invest in education, in infrastructure, in innovation, but we also need to responsibly put together a bipartisan path that will take on the sacred cows of this institution and of america's tax code. just three weeks ago we had more than 70 senators cast votes end to the $6 billion in needless ethanol subdisissments i hope that was an opening door towards a recognition that on both sides
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of the aisle and in both chambers of this congress we need to be willing to make the tough votes, even though they will upset treasury constituents, even though they will end up causing us potential political harm, to reduce reckless federal spending, whether through the tax code or unsustainable federal programs. in the end, mr. president, i simply wanted to come to the floor today and add my voice to many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who are expressing our grave concern as the clock ticks away and as the hours left to august 2 shrink, we need to come together. what americans have done for generations is sacrificed. what legislators need to do now is compromise. there are in front of us reasonable, solid, bipartisan proposals that have been available to us since march and that this body and our leadership need to be willing to make responsible compromises to make happen. with that, mr. president, i
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yield the floor. a senator: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be -- the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that be allowed to enter into a colloquy with mark corubio for up to 20 minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you. mr. president, it an honor to be here with my esteemed colleague from florida, senator marco rubio. my husband and i are phrefd to be the -- blessed to be the parents of two wonderful children. this 4th of july, we walked together as a family in the parade in wolfboro, new hampshire. as i watched my children in the parade hand out candy to other new hampshire children as they were standing with their parents, it reminded me again of why i am here and how concerned i am about the future of our country for kate and jacob and
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for all of our children. as parents, we all want to provide our children with a brighter future and at least the same, if not greater, opportunities than we have all had in the greatest country on earth. that is the american dream, that a young woman like me from a middle-class family can have the opportunity to serve in this chamber, that someone like senator rubio, the son of cuban immigrants, could serve as the senator from florida, a leader of our great country who has come here to address our challenges. i am fearful that we are the first generation who will not pass on the american dream to the next generation. with the accumulation of $14 trillion in debt, we're borrowing 40 cents on the dollar just to fund our government. half of our debt we have borrowed from other countries, including the country of china, a country that does not share
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our values. i'm concerned with the amount of debt that we have accumulated, that if we do not address this debt crisis right here and now, that we are ensuring that our children will have less opportunities than we have all had. we have seen what is happening in greece. if we do not address our debt with real substantive legislative proposals, things that we have already proposed in this chamber, members of both sides of the aisle, the balanced budget amendment, a spending cap legislation, how about a real budget resolution that reduces spending and puts forth a responsible fiscal plan for this country, we will be setting up our children to pay for our failure to act today with either massive tax increases or the value of our dollar will be diminished and everything that they own will be worth less, and
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everything that we own. and it will diminish their economic opportunities in this great country. senator rubio, i know that you're also the father of four young children. what is it that you are most concerned about with respect to the future of our great country? mr. rubio: first i want to thank the senator from new hampshire for allowing us the opportunity to do this together. this is important. she brings a tremendous amount of credibility to this discussion. she's not just a mother and a senator, but she's also a small business owner who's run a small business, been there in the front lines with her husband running a small business, who recently got off the campaign trail as i did and heard from job creators all over the state, what they're talking about. as you rightfully outlined, i am the father of four young children, four children that i think deserve to inherit a country as great as the one that my parents and their generation left us. that's what we're debating at the end of the day. if you look at the numbers,
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they're startling. i think these numbers have been said before but you can't say them enough. $14 trillion worth of debt. trillion is not a figure i used in my life until i got to washington. i don't know where else in the world that applies. $14.3 trillion is our debt. our kids already owe $46,000 and my oldest is only 11. already owes $46,000. our total debt is about to reach the size of our entire economy. that's kind of the framework in which we're operating in when we discuss th-fplt i actually think we're closer to some sort of agreement than a lot of people realize. i've heard the term thrown around a balanced approach to dealing with it, and i think there's agreement there has to be a balanced approach. i have always said you cannot cut your way out of this problem. you have to have a combination of cuts and growth, growth and revenues to government. i think the debate is, the debate is how do you accomplish these two things. i'm not going to focus so much on the cut part of it today. i want to focus on the revenue
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part of it because that's the part the president and some of my colleagues here have focused on over the last day, this idea of getting more revenue or this new term revenue enhancers, which is washington-talk for more money to the government. and according to the president, some in his party, most in his party i should say, the idea is simple. they think there is a bunch of people in america making a lost money, more money than they should be making, and they need to pay more in taxes. and if these people pay more in taxes, all of these problems will be a lot easier to deal with. that's kind of the viewpoint they bring to this debate. yesterday we saw, and i know tomorrow the majority leader, we'll be voting here on the floor something the majority leader offered up, something called the sense of the senate, which people watching at home may wonder what is that. that basically means what is on the senate's mind. the sense of the senate, this thing we'll be voting on tomorrow, basically you've got a bunch of people in this country that make over $1 million and these people need to do more to help with the debt. that's basically the sense of
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the senate we're going to be voting on tomorrow. i looked at it because ultimately this is a serious issue. so let's disclosure this with an open mind. let's not be blindly ideological. let's look at this from a commonsense perspective, this idea that these billionaires and millionaires, if they paid more taxes, this problem would be solved. this is all about math. here's the fact. the fact is it doesn't solve the problem. first of all, if you taxed these people at 100%. basically next year you said every penny you make next year, the government is going to take it from you, it still doesn't solve the debt. not only does that not solve the debt problem, but i looked at a host of over -- some great publication that came out from the joint economic committee, our colleague, senator demint, chairs it. it kind of outlines some of the tax increases being proposed by our colleagues in the democratic party and the president to solve the debt problem. when you add them all up, you add all of these things up -- the jet airplanes, the oil
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companies, all the other things they talk about, you put them together in one big batch and you know what it does? basically deals with nine days and 23 hours worth of deficit spending. nine days and -- doesn't even tkpwret to ten -- doesn't even get to ten days of deficit spending. that's how much it solves. all this talk about going after people that make all this money, it buys you 9 days and 23 hours. let's round it off, it buys them ten days of deficit reduction. here's the bottom line. these tax increases they're talking about, these so-called revenue enhancers, they don't solve the problem. so what do we do then? because clearly we have to do two things. one, we have to hold the line on spending, maybe keep digging yourself in the hole, the hole is going to bury you, the other thing is how do you start generating revenue for government so you can start paying down this debt? we already know these taxes don't work. here is what i suggest works in a balanced approach, using the
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president's terminology. let's stop talking about new taxes and start talking about creating new taxpayers, which basically means jobs. here in washington, this debt is the number-one issue on everyone's mind, and rightfully so. it is a major issue. but everywhere else in the reeled world -- in the real world, the number one issue on everyone's minds is jobs. every problem facing everyone in america -- mortgage crisis, home foreclosure crisis, this debt problem, all of these issues get easier to deal with if people are gainfully employed across america. and the impact that unemployment is having across this country is devastating. we hear about unemployment in facts and figures. they give us numbers, senator ayotte. x percent people are unkpwhroeufpltd there are stories -- are unemployed. these are people that have done everything they have been asked to do. maybe they went to college and got a degree and came back home.
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maybe they worked for 10 or 20 years and did a good job at working but now can't find a job. now they found a job that pays half as much and they work twice as long. that is the face of unemployment in america, people that are hurting. our job here is to do everything we can to make it easier for them to find a job, not harder. i think that's what we have to do when it comes to a balanced approach and when we talk about revenue. we don't need new taxes. we need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system. then we need a government that has the discipline to take that additional revenue and use it to pay down the debt and never grow it again. that's what we should be focused on, and that's what we're not focused on. you look at all these taxes being proposed, and here's what i say. i say we should analyze every single one of them through the lens of job creation, issue number one in america. i want to know which one of these taxes they're proposing will create jobs. i want to know how many jobs are going to be created by the plane
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tax. how many jobs are going to be created by the oil company tax i heard so much about. how many jobs are create bid going after the millionaires and billionaires the president talks about? i want to know how many jobs do they create. because i'll tell you, and i'm going to turn it over to senator ayotte in a second. i'm interested in her perspective as a job creator, as the spouse of a job creator, as someone like me who came off the campaign trail, i traveled the state of florida for two years campaigning. i have never met a job creator who told me that they were waiting for the next tax increase before they started growing their business. i've never met a single job creator who's ever said to me i can't wait until government raises taxes again so i can go out and create a job. and i'm curious to know if they say that in new hampshire because they don't say that in florida. so my view on all this is i want to know how many jobs these tax increases the president proposes will create. because if they're not creating jobs and not creating new taxpayers, they're not solving the problem. senator ayotte, i don't know
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what your perspective is on that. ms. ayotte: senator rubio, i couldn't agree more with what my colleague from florida has said, that we need to create a positive climate to create jobs. but one thing we do know is that that doesn't happen by more spending in washington. the recent report that came out about the president's stimulus package has shown that it costs $278,000 per job created by that stimulus package. and yet, we had to borrow so much money, nearly $1 trillion to, create a limited number of jobs that cost us $278,000 a job. i do come from a small business family. my husband started a landscaping and snow plowing business. i worked with him to start that business. and new hampshire is a small business state. as i campaigned up and down our facilitate, i talked to so many -- up and down our state, i talked to so many small business owners and i never had a small business owner tell me that they were being taxed too little.
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please tax me more. what i did hear was too many burdensome regulations from washington were coming down and making it difficult for our small businesses to thrive and grow. and frankly some of the taxes coming down from washington making it difficult. you know, in the health care bill, there was a tax on medical device companies. new hampshire has nearly of those companies. and what i heard from those companies, and i've heard that even more recently, the tax in that health care bill on medical device companies is going to take away significant amounts of their research and development budget to create new products that will improve the quality of our health care and save lives. so the actions we're taking in washington, we need to create a positive climate for our small businesses, not thinking that we create the jobs here in washington. we know that if the small businesses and the hardworking entrepreneurs and those that have a great idea in this
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country, in the private sector that create those jobs and they don't need more taxes and burdens from washington. what we need to do is, frankly, get out of their way and allow them to thrive and grow and create jobs for all of our children going forward. senator rubio, i don't know if you heard from businesses in florida about the regulatory concerns and burdens from washington hurting economic growth in the private sector. mr. rubio: the truth is throughout the campaign and now, that's what i hear all the time from people, is that these regulations are making it harder for them to create jobs. that combined with the uncertainty of the tax code. they don't know what the taxes are going to be next year, but they read the newspaper. they listen to the news. every time they hear talk about the tax increase stuff, it scares job creators. they make the decision, you know what, maybe this is not the year to hire people because we still don't know how much it's going to do have the hire people. the other great phrase here, both senator ayotte and i have only been here a few months so i think we're still learning the language of washington. i hope it never becomes part of my permanent vocabulary, but one
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of the things i've been hearing recently is this notion everything should be on the table, which is funny because everything is not on the table, according to the president and others. for example, there is no serious discussion of a spending cap. i'd love to have a vote -- why don't we have a vote on the balanced budget amendment? why is that not on the table. why is a balanced budget amendment not on the table? a balanced budget amendment basically says you can't spend money you don't have which makes all the sense in the world to the rest of the people that live in the real world, but apparently that doesn't apply here and the result is this these problems we face. but i think some things should be off the table. let me tell you what should be off the table: bad ideas. if something is a bad idea, it shouldn't be on the table. i think it is a bad idea to pass things to make it harder to hire people. how much higher do they want unemployment to be. here is what i think we have to ask ourselves. these tax increases that senator ayotte pointed out along with the regulations kill job creation in america. these tax increases don't do
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anything about the debt. they don't raise enough money to do anything significant about the debt. they don't create jobs. in fact, they kill them. how could tax increases that they're outlining be part of a solution? why is it being offered? ultimately these are smart people. they know the math. i think the answer lies in the politics of all of this. the politics of all of this is pretty clear. this appears to be an effort to save face. the reality is that everyone here knows there's going to have to be some spending reduction of some level because we have a spending problem. the reason why we're in the mess that we're in today with the debt is not because americans don't pay enough in taxes. it's because we spend more money than we have at an alarming rate. not a little bit more than we have. a lot more than we have. there's got to be spending reductions and it appears others in this party are positioning and looking for a pound of flesh in return for these cuts so they can go to their political base and say we got something out of this. we went after the people who made all this money, we went after the greedy millionaires
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andbillionaires. we went after this money. even though this has nothing to do with the debt. i think all bad ideas should be off the table. i think anything that kills jobs should be off the table. i think anything that hurts the ability of job creators to grow their business should be off the table. i think anything that helps increase the unemployment rate should be off the table. i think that's what should be off the table. i think anything that hurts our ability to grow our economy should be off the table. and i hope what should be on the table are things that force this government once and for all to put itself back on the path of sanity. sanity basically means that we stop having a government that spends money it does not have. and i'll turn it over to senator ayotte to close but i want to thank you for the opportunity to do this because i thought it was important to bring these points to the floor here today. ms. ayotte: i want to thank senator rubio for his leadership on this issue and for the important issues that he has raised here today, because he's absolutely right that the class
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warfare is unproductive. the proposals that the president has made are not serious in terms of how much revenue they would even address. not even ten days of our debt. and unfortunately right now, the leader of the senate, what he has brought forward, is a resolution, a nonbinding sense of the senate that does nothing to address this spending in washington. and we are spending over 24% of our g.d.p. of our economy right now. we've historically spent about 20% of our g.d.p., so our spending is way, way out of line for where we have been over the 40-year historical level of our spending. and commonsense, why not a balanced budget amendment? why aren't we addressing that this week in the senate instead of a nonbinding resolution that, again will, have no effect, has no effect, won't reduce our deficit, won't help create any
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jobs, won't help our economy thrive. we should be addressing real legislation. a balanced budget amendment, i couldn't agree more with my colleague from florida more about living within our means. families sit around their kitchen table, they make the tough decisions, they see the revenue coming in and the expenditures out and washington should do the same. spending caps to ensure that we get ourselves, put those handcuffs on congress to make sure that we're not spending this drastic 24% of our g.d.p. right now and really bringing ourselves on a more responsible spending path going forward. and a budget resolution. it's been nearly two years since the senate has passed a budget. no business would run without a budget. families make budgets. but here in the united states senate, what we should be bringing to the floor is a real budget resolution that the parties can debate and put ourselves on a responsible fiscal path going forward rather
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than voting on a sense of the senate that will, again, not -- not have any impact on the full force of law. with this deadline coming up for august 2, it is time for real legislative proposals and solutions. we've put some of the ideas out there, balanced budget, cap amendment, a real budget resolution, and i hope that my colleagues from the other side of the aisle will come forward so we can work together to address this fiscal crisis here and now so that my children, senator rubio's children will have the same and greater opportunities, and all of our children and grandchildren, in the greatest country on earth. thank you, mr. president. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, there is no question that we are at a point where we have to take substantial and painful steps to get our nation's fiscal house in
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order. that's why we are rightfully working to tighten our nation's belt at a time when american families are doing the same all over the country. but today i'm here to talk about one major difference in the way republicans have proposed to go about addressing our budget and the way american families who understand shared sacrifice and equal burden, have done it. today i'd like to point out one glaring omission in the republicans' plan amid all their tough talk about fiscal responsibility. i'm they're ask republicans why they are asking everyone to sacrifice except those who can afford it the most. i want to ask them why they are not only willing to risk defaulting on our nation's debt, but also the benefits or veterans rely on, pay for the
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troops, social security benefits, and the medicare our seniors are defending on. all to defend tax breaks for oil and gas companies, sweetheart deals, and the most -- lowest tax rate in nearly 60 years. mr. president, sometimes it's hard for me to listen to some of my republican colleagues talk at length about their newfound fiscal sensibilities here on the floor and in the press. it's difficult because, unlike many of them, i was here in 2000. i remember when president clinton left office. we were on a course to completely pay down the $5.6 trillion debt by 2012. i remember the projections of surpluses. and i remember the efforts by many of us to safeguard that funding for our seniors and to pay down that debt. but i can also remember at that time, many republicans couldn't wait to get their hands on the nation's credit card.
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and when they did, when president bush took office, they spent lavishly. mr. president, a lot of that spending went to some of our nation's wealthiest individuals and companies. throughout the bush years and particularly in the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, trillions of dollars in tax breaks went to the very wealthiest americans. there were capital gains tax rollbacks, tax breaks designed to benefit corporate giants, and a new tax bracket that provided wealthy americans the lowest tax rates they've enjoyed since world war ii. and these tax breaks were all unpaid for, all handed out to those who could most aford to pay, and -- most afford to pay, and they were all put on the nation's credit card. but today, now that that credit card bill's come due, guess who won't be asked to pay their fair share?
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unfortunately, under the republican plan, it's the wealthy companies and individuals who have benefited the most from their spending. corporations likes exxonmobil, who despite reporting a profit of over $10 billion in the first quarter of this year -- at the same time, by the way, that gas prices for families across the country are rising -- they are being protected from a rollback of tax subsidies for oil and gas giants. it's corporate c.e.o.'s who are now lobbying against closing the tax loopholes that they enjoy for private jets and yachts. and it's companies who all too often ship our american jobs overseas but who still enjoy offshore tax havens. and guess who's drawn a line in the sand to protect these corporations and wealthy individuals? well, it's the very same republicans who were so quick to break out the nation's credit card back when we were running a surplus. the same republicans who have repeatedly pledged to block any
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new revenues, even as we have met them far beyond halfway in these negotiations. and finally, guess who it is that's left to pick up the credit card tab under the republican plan? unfortunately, it's everyone else. it's seniors, who under their plan will lose access to medicare as we know it. it's student that will be asked to pay even more as their tuition rises. it's our family farmers and those who can't afford health care for their children. it is the middle-class families that have found themselves living pay check to paycheck. mr. president, if republicans get their way, it will be everyone but those who can afford it most who will be left to sacrifice alone. mr. president, unfortunately the republican sproach something republican sproach something that has become -- approach is something that has become all too common in the after effects of this recession. the effects of this recession are being felt so profoundly in working families, those working
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lower-wage jobs. the very wealthiest americans seem to be doing pretty darn fine. on sunday, i picked up the "new york times" and noticed they ran an article that showed the salaries of the c.e.o.'s at america's largest companies grew by an average of 23% over last year's mark. 23%. the same article noted that over the past year, the pay for average workers declined. and it didn't even mention the thousands of layoffs at the same companies where those bonuses have skyrocketed. unfortunately, that's the same economic theory that republicans are now bringing to these budget negotiations. for those who can afford it, this budget provides all the perks and none of the sacrifices, all of the tax breaks, none of the revenues, all of the benefits, none of the pain. mr. president, it doesn't have to be this way. we can have a plan that works for middle-class families and invests in our nation's future, a plan that balances tough but
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necessary spending cuts with new revenues that ensure those corporations and wealthy americans are also paying their fair share. that restores fairness to this process by making sure that in these difficult times, we are not balancing our budget solely on the backs of seniors and students and middle-class families. and most importantly, a plan that recognizes that, yes, we have a budget deficit and we need to address that. but, mr. president, we also have an infrastructure deficit. we have an education and a skills deficit. and, importantly, we have a jobs deficit. and the only way that we will address those deficits is to invest in education, in energy and in infrastructure that will produce jobs both now and into the future. a worker who lost his job through no fault of his own doesn't just wanted to hear about cuts, cuts, cuts. they want to hear about how we
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are going to create jobs. small business owner who had to shut her doors when the recession hit, customers stopped coming in doesn't want to hear about debt ceilings. she wants to hear about how we are going to get the economy back on track. it cannot just be about slashi slashing. it needs to be about investing in jobs and workers right here in america. and, mr. president, that's what we should be working together forward. i understand time's not on our side in this debate. the truth is that republicans aren't merely offering their "everybody pays exempt the rich philosophy" up for debate. they are holding our nation's economy hostage with it by refusing to accept new revenues from corporate tax loopholes and tying that refusal to the nation's debt limit, they are rolling the dice on default. in fact, you know, in my 18 years on the senate budget committee, i've never seen anything like what republicans are willing to risk in these
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budget negotiations and who they are willing to risk it all for. last week, the bipartisan policy center put out a report that was authored, by the way, by a former bush treasury official about what would happen if republicans continued to play chicken with default. and the administration was forced to make desperate spending decisions this august. the scenarios were worse than grim. potentially at risk are the benefits and health care we owe our veterans, loans for our small businesses that are struggling, food stamps for people who are struggling to buy groceries, social security checks for our seniors, unemployment benefits for millions of workers, and even active-duty pay for our military. yet, by rejecting revenues in this deal and by not asking everyone to sacrifice and by dealing in ultimatums rather than compromise, republicans are willing to put all these
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americans at risk. and they're willing to risk it all in order to go to the mat to protect trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the wealthiest few. they're willing to chance loans for main street businesses in order to defend offshore tax breaks for multinational companies. they're willing to jeopardize troop pay in order to stand up for hedge fund managers. they're willing to gamble default on tax breaks for horse tracks. i believe that's a bet that all of us will lose. mr. president, we were elected to work for americans, not just the privileged few at the top. it's time to come to the table with flexibility. it's time for compromise. it's time for commonsense. and it is time to ask everyone to sacrifice to meet a challenge that we all face together. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. mr. kyl: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona.
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mr. kyl: thank you, mr. president. i've heard a lot of talk on the senate floor, including from the last speaker and certainly from the president of the united states, about shared sacrifice. the white house spin is that the democrats in the negotiations about extending the debt ceiling have conceded hundreds of billions of dollars in savings and republicans have conceded nothing, and, therefore, republicans need to be willing to raise taxes. that's -- that's the mantra, that's the spin. there are two things wrong with this spin. first, it's wrong as a matter of fact, as i will point out, and second it would result in very bad policy. as senator rubio said a moment ago, the only thing that should be off the table is bad policy, and certainly anything that would hurt our economy and job creation at this time is bad policy. first, with regard to the assertion from some in the white house that democrats have made all of the concessions and so it's republicans' turn.
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the last speaker, as a matter of fact, said, and i will quote her directly, "everybody pays except the rich." well, i'd like to point out why that's absolutely not the case. the negotiations that vice president biden has presided over have talked about two different kinds of savings. on the discretionary side, that's the budget that we deal with every year, and on the mandatory side. that's spending programs like medicare and medicaid and some of tricare and some veterans' benefits and social security and things of that sort. if the savings that the white house has attempted to portray as all coming from democrat concessions refers to the discretionary part of this pie, then i would simply say that it's a false statement because we haven't discussed it.
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what we have talked about is setting a top-line budget number, a so-called 302-a number in budget parlance, and that's what the members of the house and senate would then have to spend, but there has been no discussion of where those savings come from. so it simply would be wrong to say that there has been any kind of negotiation about where that savings comes from and democrats have made all of the concessions. there have been no concessions made by either side, as a matter of fact. if it's the mandatory side that we're talking about, it's true that we have had a lot of discussion about savings that can result from changes in the way that we operate some of these mandatory programs. now, we're not talking about any major reform of medicare, anything of that sort, but if i can just sort of characterize something in a very loose way as waste, fraud and abuse, there are a lot of savings that can occur in various programs, and there are even some revenue increases that can result from
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increased fees and that sort of thing that do result in some additional savings overall on the mandatory side. in terms of the revenue increases, i would point out that between $153 billion and over $200 billion of the money on that side of the ledger actually comes from increased revenues. so when the white house says well, revenues have to be on the table, the fact is revenues have been on the table. we have been talking about increased revenues. we're not talking about increasing taxes, but if the government sells something and gets money from it, that's revenue. if there is a user fee of some kind and we want to raise that to keep up with the times, that's revenue. and if you add up all of the revenues that we have agreed to, we republicans have agreed to, it's between $150 billion and and $200 billion. so it's simply false to suggest that we haven't been willing to talk about revenues and that all
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of the concessions have been on the democratic side. now, we have also had some spending reductions or less rate in the growth of spending in some of these mandatory programs on the table for discussion, and about 60% of those in my calculation are concession that is republicans have made. about 40% are concessions democrats have made. my democratic counterparts would probably argue that it's somewhat different from their point of view, but the fact is both sides have made concessions, and even if you concede that they are 50-50, the fact is therefore republicans have made as many concessions in these negotiations as have our democrat colleagues. and by the way, one reason we have both been willing to make concessions is we agree we're in a dire circumstance here, and we sometimes have to get out of what we call our comfort zone and agree to things that in ordinary times we would never have agreed to, but we realize now that we have got to make some changes. and so we're willing to make
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concessions that orderly we wouldn't. and we have and so have the democrats, and the net result, i think it's 60/40 on our side plus all the revenues that we have conceded, but if somebody on the other side said no, it's 50-50 or something in that order, i wouldn't argue. but the fact is it is false and misleading for the white house to suggest that all of the concessions have been made by the democrats and none have been made by republicans. that's simply factually incorrect. secondly, the second thing that's wrong with this spin is that as senator rubio said, bad ideas should be off the table, and it is a bad idea to raise taxes on an economy that's already sick. i mean, the last thing that we should be doing is raising taxes as a result of which job creation would be inhibited. it's the worst medicine for a
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sick economy. i asked one of my democrat colleagues why, since we shouldn't be raising taxes at this point in time, why there was such an insistence on his side, and his response was well, you have to understand with us, it's kind of theological. well, maybe it's theological, but i would argue that ideology here has a place to the extent that it is backed up by reality, but ideology that is not backed up by reality has no place in these negotiations. and raising taxes just for the sake of raising taxes so that somebody can say well, their constituency, we did it, we were able to raise taxes, that's not a sound way to approach the problem. thomas seoul, one of the most aeroindict observers of the american scene, wrote a piece on
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july 5, a piece he entitles "politics versus reality." i would ask unanimous consent to insert this in the record at the end of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kyl: the whole point about raising taxes, this should not be about shared sacrifice. it shouldn't be about sacrifice at all. we're not talking about austerity. we should be talking about prosperity. in other words, the conditions by which everyone can do well, specifically how we can create jobs so we can put americans back to work, how our economy can grow. as i said, the worst medicine that's why republicans oppose tax hikes. not because, for example, i have some interest in protecting some hollywood movie millionaire. i don't. person is probably not in my political party. what i have an interest in is protecting america's small businesses so that they don't go broke, so this don't have to close up shop by imposing higher
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taxes on them. and that's exactly what the president's own small business administration office of advocacy said would happen with one of the taxes that they propose to raise. this is repealing lifo, which is an accounting term meaning last in first out. and the s.b.a. administration office of advocacy said that repealing lifo, "would result in a tax increase for small businesses that could ultimately force many small businesses to close." that's the president's own office of advocacy for the s.b.a. that's what i oppose. putting small businesses out of business just because of some theoretical, theological attachment to raising taxes. now, accountants have talked fror a long time about what the best method confidenting is. the i.r.s. has always said that lifo is perfectly acceptable and
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about 36% of american businesses, primarily retailers and manufacturers, use this accounting technique. and it would be fine if we decide to say well, we're going to go to a different technique. what would be wrong is to retroactively impose a tax on the people who have been using this accounting method as if they'd been doing something. they haven't. the i.r.s. has always said lifo is fine. but it's all about revenue. we need more money to spend, so we're going to retroactively tax 36% of american businesses that use this accounting method. it's wrong. and that's why the small business administration office of advocacy has said this could put many small businesses out of business. it's why we shouldn't be considering it. what are the other taxes they propose? well, one of them is to cap itemized deductions.
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so you would only be able to deduct either 28% or maybe up to 35% of your income. now, obviously the first effect of this is to make it much more difficult for americans to contribute to charity, to buy homes because they wouldn't have the advantage of the mortgage interest deduction, to pay medical expenses and so on. and as "the wall street journal" has editorialized, this is just a backdoor way of raising marginal tax rates without actually happening to do so. but the biggest problem with this capping of deductions is not that it's going to hurt the millionaires. they're either going to be caught by the a.m.t. or their income is so high that they're eveninevening about to be payine a.m.t. rates, notwithstanding these limits on deductions. the real people that this hurts are the small businesses that pay in the higher bracket and we know that 50% of small business income falls in the top two brackets.
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businesses have deductions that are the ordinary and necessary part of doing business. all businesses are allowed to take them, both corporate and noncorporate. why would we eliminate the ability of small businesses to take the same kind of deductions that corporations can take by capping the amount of deductions that could be reported -- that could be taken in income reported in the top two brackets? final point about this is we know that efforts to tax millionaires and billionaires always end up taxing a lot more people than that. according to i.r.s., in 12008, there were only about 319,000 tax returns that showed an income of $1 million or more. but the number of returns falling in the top two brackets, the ones that are affected by this proposal of the democrats, numbered more than 3.6 million people. these would be the people who are affected by this proposed increase in taxes.
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i would just parenthetically note two others. the last millionaire tax is the alternative minimum tax, it was created in 1969 targeted against 155 millionaires. guess how many people it will apply to this year? 34.4 million americans. aim for the millionaires, you end up getting everybody ale el. the third tax that the democrats talk about raise segregate old favorite, big oil. this is so targeted, it only hits five companies out of the whole world. five american companies. so never mind we're punishing american businesses, american oil companies, who are the same businesses other companies all over the world. they're not being punished. but, no, we're going to attack american businesses who employ 9.2 million americans. we're going to say that they have to pay higher taxes than other businesses who are just like them. there are three particular tax provisions -- other businesses goat take in r&d tax credit.
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arnth we all for research and development in yes, but not in the oil and gas industry. where might they put that research and development money? welling for example, into ensuring when they sink a well-well deep in the gulf of mexico, it will be environmentally safe. no, you can't deduct that. all other businesses will be able to, but not you. what sense does that make? it's bad policy. how about the usual and necessary business expense, the deduction for write-offs, for business investment? all other companies get to deduct that, but we would say to the oil companies, you don't get that same deduction. and perhaps most perniciously, we're trying to compete with foreign businesses and so wecy to americans that earn -- we say to americans that earn income abroad, you can deduct against the income you earn heerk the income that you earn over there. so, this is discriminatory. it is job-killing, but most of all, it impacts american consumers directly because every
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dollar of increased taxes is going to find it's way into the price that we pay at the gas station when we buy gas. now, who does that hurt, therefore? does it hurt some millionaires and billionaires? who owns the oil companies? well, a lot of pensions do, a lot of retired teachers and firefighters and so on. people have to think this through. you're not hitting millionaires and billionaires. i know it sound like good rhetoric. but when you're hitting american businesses who try to compete around the world, and who develop a product which we would like not to have to pay $4 a gallon for, the last thing you want to do is to play politics by saying, well, for those particular folks we're going to raise their ta taxes. i remember the last time they raised taxes on another millionaire kind of outfit, the yachts. it was a lux i didn't tax that we opposed bark -- it was a luxury tax that we opposed back in 1990. it seemed like a good idea. just like this tax they are talking about imposing on tarps,
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they didn't actually talk about that in our meeting. so i don't know exactly what it is. they say it would raise $3 billion over ten years, which pays for hardly a fraction of the $14 trillion debt that we've got. nonetheless, they want to go after private airplanes. i don't know how many people work in the private airplane manufacturing business, but it was interesting that in 1990 when the luxury boat tax was passed, there were 7,600 jobs lost in the boating industry. and very quickly, the people who made the boats, a lot of them up in massachusetts, decided this wasn't such a hot idea and so they repealed the tax in 1993. by the way, it lost revenues because of the unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenue that had to be developed in order to offset the loss in bissments the point of all of this is that when the administration and others talk about shared sacrifice, of making some kind of rich business or rich person pay
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taxes, you have to think through what the effect is on the american economy and on job creation. and the reason the republicans oppose these things is not because we love the nearn pays the tax so much as we had like for american jobs for created or at least not have more jobs lost. and people who are proposing these tax cuts seem to be absolutely oblivious to the effect that their proposals would have on hardworking americans. my colleague from washington state just a moment ago said, and i will queet her again, "everybody pays except the rich." under republicans' idea of how things ought to be. and i think i pointed out that that's just not true. but in case anybody needs a reminder of who pays income taxes in this country, the top 1% pay 38% of all income taxes. the top 10% pay 70%. the bottom 40% pay no personal income tax. so is it through everybody pays
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except the rich? no. the rich pay, by far and away, most of the taxes paid in this country. and a lot of people believe that's as it should be. we have a progressive system. the rich can afford to pay more, and so we expect more from them. but let's not demagogue the issue and suggest that isn't true. it is true. the rich do pay more, and we've decided in this country that they should. but how much more do you want them to pay? 90%, 95%? how about 100%? how much revenue do you think we could get if we said he's going to have to pay 1 radio% of what he earns -- 100% of he earns in income taxes? when we talk about shared sacrifice, let's put this into perspective. and let's realize that we're not talking about sacrifice in the sense of trying to hurt people for austerity so much as we are talking about prosperity. and you don't create more
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prosperity with job-killing taxes. mr. president, i just want to add one other thing for the record here. there are two publications that note areas in which we could save hundreds of billions of dollars if we were just willing to discuss them. when we talk about things that are on the table or off the table, here are two things that our democratic friends have said are not on the table. we'll not talk about fraud in the unemployment insurance system or fraud in medicare and medicaid. well, according to these two acialtion which i'll ask be put in the record in just a moment, there are tens of billions of dollars in each where we could save the taxpayers money, money that is being paid out now to either downright crooks or being paid inappropriately to people who don't qualify. since 1986, the g.a.o. has published at least 158 reports about medicare and medicaid fraud, for example.
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in 1993, attorney general janet reno declared health care fraud america's number-two crime problem, right behind violent crime. these are off the table, some of our democratic friends say. well, we think that this is a way in which we can save money without requiring others to have to sacrifice. and so i ask unanimous consent, mr. president, that the piece by michael cannon in "the national view online" july 4, and the piece by paul davidson dated july 5, be indeterred at the conclusion of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kyl: thank you. i appreciate my colleagues' indulgence here. the bottom line is that when we talk about shared sacrifice, we need to appreciate in the negotiations that have been occurring, republicans have made a lot of concessions and that the reason that we oppose the concession of raising taxes is not because we have some ideological attachment to somebody that makes a lot of
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money burkes rather, because we have an -- but, rather, because we've an ideological attachment to the american worker who needs his or her job or needs his or her job protected and from what we understand, the taxes that have been proposed by our democratic colleagues would all be job-killers. that our economy is in the -- at the time that our economy is in the u eliminatey state that it s -- at the unhealthy state that it is, the last thing they need is job-killing taxes. mr. whitehouse: i don't want to step on your colleagues' time, but one of the things that i have been tracking is the share of wealth income and taxes at various percentages of the -- you know, towards the top. and the senator was good enough to mention that the top 1% pay about 28% of the taxes. the top 5% pay about 44%, a little over 44% of the taxes,
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and the top 10% pay 55.4% of the taxes. but i think in order to get a complete picture, it's also important to note that the top 1% control 24% of the income; the top 5% control 39% of the income and; the top 15% control 50% of the income. and if you go to wealth, the top 1% control 33.8% of the wealth. the top 5% control 60.4% of the wealth. and the top 10% controls 71.5% of the nation's wealth. so if you control 71.5% of th the -- if you're the top 10% and you control 71.5% of the nation's wealth, it doesn't seem to be unreasonable that you should be paying 55% of the nation's taxes, particularly if you are taxing based on dollars and not on just number of peop people. so i don't know if those numbers are wrong. we got them from the federal
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reserve board, from the i.r.s. and the congressional budget office. i think they're accurate, and it would appear to show that at the very high end, although these individuals are paying considerable taxes towards our nation's economy, they are paying considerably less than the amount of wealth they control and not much more than the amount of income they control in a graduated system of progressive taxation which we're supposed to have. that is not surprising. in fact, what's surprising is that the top 24% of the income only pays 28.3% of the taxes. mr. kyl: well, mr. president, i'm not sure where the question is. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. kyl: what i would say in response is, with all due respect to my colleagues, his numbers are absolutely wrong. i don't have at my fingertips the precise figures but i can tell you this. in every category you mentioned -- by the way, i also don't know what you mean by in charge of wealth. in terms of who owns wealth or income, the people at the -- in
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the upper brackets earn far more than -- pay far more in taxes as a percentage of wealth in the economy. and i would be happy to supply those figures to my colleague. and there's a difference between income taxes and all other taxes as well, and i don't know, that chart doesn't suggest which is which. i would be happy, though, to demonstrate to my colleague that whether you're talking about income taxes or all taxes, the upper-income level pay far and away a higher percentage than those in the lower portion and they pay more than the wealth -- in taxes, they pay more than the percentage of wealth that they create, that they earn. so the bottom line is that i think anybody making the argument that there is not shared contribution to the revenues of the country by the upper income would be making a false argument. i know that's not the argument my colleague is making because he agrees with the progressive income tax system and has
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pointed out that it is progressive, even by the numbers you have. but let's do this, because i respect my colleague, i'll get the numbers that i rely upon, you get the numbers that you think you rely upon and the sources of each, you and i can agree to come to the floor at an appropriate time convenient to us both and then we can both have the data at our fingertips from which we can make our respective arguments. how's that? mr. whitehouse: i would be delighted to do that and i might actually throw in the data from the i.r.s. that shows that the top 400 income earners in the country in the most recent period that they've actually gone back and done the calculation paid 18.2% total taxes, which is less than i think the average american, certainly the average middle american family pays. and so there's this reversal at the high end where people actually end up paying less. indeed, in one building in new york the payment for the most recent year was 14.7% from the occupants, whereas janitors and doormen and security guards are paying up in the 20% ranges.
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so it's not progressive in that sense. it is regressive at the high ends, according to those things. so let's get the information together and we'll have that discussion. mr. kyl: sure. and, mr. president, if i could just on that last point, it makes a larger point. when congress tries to hit the millionaires and the billionaires, those are the very people who can adjust their way of earning and of giving and of living so that they end up paying less in taxes. that's why it doesn't much matter what the rate of taxes is at the upper income. they're never going to pay more than a certain percentage because they can afford the lawyers and the accountants to make sure that they don't pay more. it's the people in the middle income that can't do that and they end up paying what the i.r.s. says they owe and they can't adjust their way of living and giving in order to pay less in the way of taxes. there -- whatever deductions they get, they get, and they're going to have to live with
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those. when we try to hit the upper income with higher rates, it generally doesn't work, and that's another reason why we think this is an ineffective way to raise revenue. mr. whitehouse: that's why i think the loopholes need to be closed. and i thank the distinguished senator for the colloquy. mr. chambliss: mr. president? mr. president, scared me for a minute. i thought we were almost engaging in a debate on the senate floor. this could get interesting here. i have great respect for both my colleagues that were just making comments and it will be an interesting discussion on the floor when they both have thei their -- their respective numbers, and we'll look forward to that. and i want to say to my colleague from arizona that what he said is -- is exactly right. raising taxes is in the time of tough economic times a very, very difficult thing to do and is not stimulative of the economy. the way we need to see revenues
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increased -- and i don't think there's any disagreement from anybody in the senate or in the house that the 14.5% of g.d.p. that we are now seeing in revenues has got to be increas increased. but the way we need increase it is enacting policies, where they be tax policies or spending policies or otherwise that will truly proceed to the economy -- truly grow the economy. and we can do that with the right kind of policies that will not only in the short term stimulate the economy and show an increase in -- in revenues but it will also have the same impact on the other side of the ledger, which is reducing spending. we're now at an all-time high since world war ii on the spending side. we're at an all-time low on the revenue side. and that's what's gotten us into this terrible fiscal problem that we have today. and i concur with what the
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senator from arizona said and i look forward to continuing to dialogue with him as well as the senator from rhode island about what needs to be done to get this gap closed. mr. president, i want to rise tonight to discuss the need for the american government to fundamentally change the way it conducts business. congress and the president can no longer fail to make significant, meaningful changes to our fiscal path. we must act now to ensure the safety and security of our nation. there's a mutual understanding from all involved in the ongoing debate that the current fiscal path our country is on will lead us to ruin. it is simply unthinkable to believe that we can continue to run deficits in excess of $1 trillion on top of $14.3 trillion in accumulated debt and remain the leader of the global economy. it is well-known that the federal government will soon risk a potentially catastrophic default on its credit obligations. clearly, any increase in the
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debt ceiling must come with substantial policy reforms and commitments that future spending and deficits are being addressed appropriately. against this backdrop, we are being provided with a unique opportunity to review the underlying causes of our current path and potential effects that we face. just last week, the congressional budget office released its long-term budget outlook. their release shows debt increasing to approximately 200% of g.d.p. by 2035 unless drastic and immediate changes are made. economists have told me that a debt equaling 90% of g.d.p. is the tipping point and that after that, it is impossible to turn the situation around. under the same c.b.o. scenario, interest costs alone in 2035 would reach 9% of g.d.p. and 9% of g.d.p. is more than what the united states currently spends
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on both social security and medicare. this body spends a considerable amount of time deliberating on matters of national security and, indeed, that is extremely important work. we must stay vigilant that any threats to this country are swiftly dealt with. however, admiral mike mullen, the current chairman of the joint chiefs, has said emphatically over and again that our debt is the single greatest threat to our national security. admiral mullen is not alone. the cochairs of the president's own fiscal commission warned him of the need for swift action. mr. bowles and mr. simpson continue to speak almost daily of the importance of addressing our fiscal situation and continue to make impassioned pleas that this situation must be corrected and must be done so in the short term. it is during these hard times that most americans look to their elected representatives and the chief executive of the united states for guidance on
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these issues. the american people have waited for leadership on this issue and have demanded fiscal discipline. it is reprehensible that an issue of this magnitude and significance is subject to the partisan bickering and gamesmanship that often rears its head in politics. this is an issue that will determine the fate of our country. it deserves careful, serious, thoughtful deliberation and not political theater. not long ago, the senate held a series of votes on budget resolutions that everybody knew were determined to fail. the american people expect and deserve an honest budget debate and an honest budget process. while i'm glad the president is now engaging in this debate, he, too, has not been forthcoming or helping decide america's future budget fate. he has not given those in his party instruction or guidance on how to address our fiscal
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situation, nor has he given the congress as a whole a relevant plan. it would be reprehensible for these white house negotiations that are now under way to produce a last-minute proposal that leaves congress no time to review the merits of the legislation or the immediate and lasting effects to the american people. i have been on record many times before as stating everything must be on the table when it comes to solving our debt problems, and i seriously mean that. we see daily the effects of oppressive debt in countries like greece and the fear and panic it creates for the citizens of that country. we must take the steps now to ensure we don't fall off the precipice and that means looking at all of our options. we must reduce discretionary spending, reform entitlements, simplify the individual and corporate code and lower tax rates. this is a proven path to prosperity because the solution
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is based on both spending reduction and economic growth, and we have a model for this, and the model is what tip o'neill and ronald reagan did in 1986. we saw an economy stimulated at a time when it really needed it, by the elimination of tax expenditures and the lowering of tax rates, particularly on the corporate side. it's important on both the personal and corporate, but if we're truly going to expand our tax base and see revenues increased, then we need to make the corporations in this country that manufacture the finest quality of products of anybody in the world on the same level playing field as their competitors across the globe. so it's of critical importance that we reform our tax code, make it simpler and fairer, and particularly from a corporate level more competitive from a worldwide situation. we must cut federal spending in any way we can. our current levels of
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discretionary and mandatory spending simply can't be sustained, but we can't solve our problems simply by reducing spending. we have got to reform entitlements. we have got to look at those issues that are very, very difficult for a lot of us to deal with, and we have got to make some hard and tough decisions, and the unfortunate part about this is we don't have a lot of time to do it. i don't know what the window is. the window may be six months, may be 12 months, may be two years. no economist will give you an exact definite prediction of how long this window is, but the one thing we do know, that we were not able to predict the financial crisis that occurred in 2008, but as mr. bowles has said time and time again, this is one crisis we can preaddict, so now is the time for policymakers in washington to
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act. it's job creation that will ultimately be the benefit to americans once a strong and balanced budget is in place. slower economic growth results in dramatic job loss. christina romer, the former chair of the white house council of economic advisors, equated one percentage point of g.d.p. with one million jobs annually. we cannot allow the american people to suffer by not providing the economic basis for recovery and growth. a balanced federal budget that is free of excessive debt will lead to a healthy economy and long-term sustainable job creation activities. mr. president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i rise today deeply concerned that
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our republican colleagues in their ideological haze have lost sight of the facts and the real people at home whose lives will be affected by the choices we make. they are lost in an ideological haze a political dust storm that is distorting the facts and confusing process and policy with political propaganda. as the conservative columnist david brooks has said -- quote -- "a normal republican party would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing." he calls it -- quote -- "the mother of no-brainers," but it is true as many have said that this republican party is not your grandfather's republican party. it is not even ronald reagan's republican party. this republican party is so far to the right that it cannot even see the center where ideologies
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converge and good governance begins. this republican party sees the process of governing as one-sided, their side and no other. today, those on the far right wave the constitution that established a form of government to protect us from tyranny, yet see any form of compromise as defeat, and the only clear victory is total surrender to their position. and so here we are, working to try to ensure that reason prevails. we have offered the largest spending cuts in a generation. asking that those cuts be accompanied by closing tax loopholes and ending tax giveaways and unreasonable subsidies to those who need them the least, but because almost every republican has signed grow
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v.r.e. norquist's americans for tax reform pledge to never, ever raise any tax and because they define closing tax loopholes as a tax increase even when the recipients themselves have said they do not need those tax breaks, we are forced into this position. hoping that logical, moderate voices on the other side will rise up, demanding that what we do and is right for the american people take place. in my view, ending subsidies to big oil companies does not fall under that pledge. only in washington, only in washington, would republicans call ending $21 billion in tax breaks for big oil companies that will make $144 billion in profits a tax increase. it is not. it is not a tax increase. it is a measure of fairness. it is exactly what we need to do
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under the circumstances, and it is a reasonable offer by those of us on this side of the aisle. now, our job in a representative democracy is to represent the values of those who sent us here to do what's right for them, not waive a pledge and conveniently interpret the elimination of oil subsidies from multibillion-dollar profitable corporations or ethanol subsidies to the tune of of $2 billion as a tax increase. mr. president, that's nonsense. we are offering a reasonable compromise as that conservative columnist david brooks says, the mother of no-brainers. even "usa today" said in their editorial -- quote -- "compromise is an essential part of democracy, but negotiating with republicans over taxes has become as futile as trying to bargain with the taliban over whether girls should be allowed to attend school." that's a pretty stark
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comparison, i admit, and i may not have gone that far, but frankly our republican brethren seem to hold to their ideology almost religiously. they see all things in black and white. they act as though they believe that those who disagree with that ideology are either unpatriotic or heretics and that the only truth is their truth. what they have forgotten is that negotiating with those with whom we disagree and reaching a compromise is what good governance is all about. the other falsehood here is spending is not a democratic value, as our friends on the other side would have us believe. it is a republican reality. it was the reckless spending of republicans combined with a reckless tax policy and an ideology that let wall street run wild, turning a free market into a free-for-all market that brought us to where we are today.
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let's remember it wasn't long ago that the budget was, in fact, balanced during another democratic administration, when we had budget surpluses as far as the eye could see. the day president clinton left office, he handed the incoming president a $236 billion surplus with a projected surplus of of $5.6 trillion over the following ten years. when president bush left office, he had turned a $236 billion budget surplus into a a $1.3 trillion budget deficit, with projected shortfalls of of $8 trillion over the next decade. he happenedded the new president an economy that was headed off the cliff into a near depression. we have spent $786 billion unpaid for on president bush's ill-advised, wrong-headed war of choice in iraq because of some
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false allegations of weapons of mass destruction, a political experiment that distracted us from a war of necessity in afghanistan, keeping us there far longer than necessary, at an additional cost of $430 billion, unpaid for. a total cost for both wars, unpaid for, of $1.2 trillion. the republican party that will not now agree to one penny in revenue and demands only more spending cuts has fought to make tax breaks for the wealthy permanent that would cost this nation another $5 trillion. their favorite big business in wall street and a tax code that has resulted in major multibillion-dollar corporations paying no taxes -- yes, no taxes at all. in fact, a detailed government
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accountability office study of corporate income taxes from 1998-2005 showed that 55% of large u.s. corporations reported no, no tax liability for at least one of those eight years. yet, those same republicans will look us in the eye in defense of their defenseless position and tell us that most individuals do not pay taxes either. what they will not say is that those individuals who do not pay taxes do not pay taxes for a reason. they do not earn enough to pay income tax, and many of them are among the poorest of the poor. only in washington could such an indefensible position be accepted as defensible and logical. only in washington could republicans support policies that benefit the wealthiest at the expense of the middle class. only in washington could
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republicans tell a construction worker in new jersey who has cut his budget to the bone and needs to work another job to pay the bills that we don't need to end tax loopholes and tax breaks to help pay the nation's bills, that we only have to cut more spending and give more money to the top 1% of the wealthiest in the country who control 45% of all of the wealth in america and that they will create more jobs. notwithstanding the fact that 12 years of tax cuts for the wealthiest created virtually no jobs at all. when ronald reagan and bill clinton increased the revenue side of the equation, it bought the greatest economic progress in the last half century, but our republican colleagues do not get the facts get in the way of their ideology. the fact is if joe, the construction worker in new jersey, had cut his budget and his spending, has made the
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difficult choices about what he can afford and what he can't and still can't meet bills that he has to pay with the money he earns, then he has to get a second job or work more hours or find a way to increase his income. and yet our republican colleagues will look that construction worker in the eye and tell him he doesn't need to earn more, he needs to cut more and then cut again, cut to the bone if necessary, but never, never do what needs to be done to increase the revenue side. mr. president, only in washington is such an argument seem reasonable. only does this republican party make an absurd argument to stria to make sense. -- to try to make sense. never before has america waged two wars at the same time, struggled to invest in our infrastructure to create new jobs and done so at a time of decreased revenue and not seen the need at least to discuss the idea of closing tax loopholes
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and tax breaks for big oil and multibillion-dollar corpgs. never before has any party claimed that we can do all of that and at the same time balance the budget on the back of seniors, students, middle-class families, and not even consider the shared sacrifice, a sacrifice that would end tax breaks for multibillion-dollar corporations who in many cases don't even pay taxes. never before has such ill logic passed for logic. but our republican colleagues will not take "yes" for an answer. we have said "yes" to spending cuts. more spending cuts than we have seen in a generation. now they must say "yes" to commonsense, fair increases in revenue and choose good governance over political ideology. david brooks, that conservative columnist i referred to, he said
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"the members of this movement talk blandly of defaults and are willing to stain their nation's honor," meaning that the country won't meet its obligations. we teach our children you have to meet your obligations. but this movement tells the country, you don't have to meet your obligations. he goes on to say, "if debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that democrats were willing to compromise but republicans were not. if responsible republicans don't take control, independents will conclude that republican fanatacism caused this default and they will conclude that republicans are not fit to govern." i would very rarely agree with mr. brooks, but i would agree that his observations in this case are absolutely right. this is about not only standing up for the nation's honor, it is about standing up for the nation's obligations, it is standing up to make sure that there is a fair and shared
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sacrifice, not those simply on the backs of middle-class working families in this country, and those who have the least among us. that's the choice republicans would have us make. it is the wrong choice for the nation, and i am just hoping that we get to some sense of reality in this chamber that can help us move forward, have the nation be upheld in its obligations both at here and abroad and not stop a ripple effect that will cause an enormous consequence to this nation's economy. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you very much, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to speak for up 10 minutes followed by senator inhofe for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, we just heard the senator from georgia talk about the upcoming predictable crisis, and our nation faces a leadership crisis right now, and it is a predictable crisis.
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back in 2006, then-senator obama called raising the debt ceiling, he called it a sign of leadership failure. so why five years later is it now president obama who is asking us to raise the debt ceiling? and why is he doing it with no plan on how to pay back the new debt that we continue to accumulate? in his press conference last week the president called on this body -- he said to go ahead and make the tough choices. when it comes to cutting spending, his allies in congress refuse to make any choices. the president has attacked this body nor not getting a deal done on time. yet he declined to meet with republicans about these very issues and about our ideas. according to the white house press secretary, press secretary said, that was not a conversation worth vsmg now, he has finally agreed to meet, wit leaders from both parties. the white house and congress have a choice:
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do we want america to be bra broke or do we want america to be balanced? facts are stubborn things and the numbers do not lie. our debt is swallowing our economy whole. every day washington borrows $4.1 billion more, borrowed over $4.1 billion yesterday, $4.1 billion today, and it will borrow $4.1 billion again tomorrow. mr. president, that is over $2 million a minute, every minute. in a single day, washington borrows enough to buy tens of thousands of new homes. in a single hour, washington borrows enough to buy nearly 2 million barrels of oil. in a single minute, washington borrows enough to send 53 students a year to the most expensive colleges in america. and in a single second, washington borrows enough to buy two new ford mustang cars.
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washington doll of that yesterday, it will do it all today, and it will do it all tomorrow. well, of every dollar washington spends, 41 centss of it is borrowed. much of it is borrowed from china. every american child born today, born tomorrow, born next -- the next day is born with a debt of over $45,000. next year of every dollar washington spend, 68 cents will go for social security, medicare, and medicaid, and interest on the debt alone. now, if those numbers don't sound scary yet, they will. because interest on our debt costs $160 -- i'm sorry, $196 billion last year. over $500 million every day. it costs nearly $23 million an hour, over $370,000 a minute, every minute, $6,000 a second, every second, interest alone on
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our debt. in the time it takes to give this speech, and as well as my colleague's previous speech and the speech coming up after that washington will have spent millions of dollars on interest payments alone. now, the president has railed against tax breaks for things like private jets. did it in a press conference last week. mentioned it six times. when he didn't tell you is that every $100 of the huge deficit of this year alone, every $100, only two cents -- only two cents -- of those $100 would be dealt with with the tax that he proposes and holds out as the number-one thing. mr. president, what about the other $99.98? what the president won't tell you is that the interest on our debt costs enough to buy over 100 private jets every day. the interest that we pay on the debt alone.
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his party wants to end tax breaks for yachts yet the interest would buy over 50 luxury yachts every hour. most americans are feeling severe pain at the pump. yet washington could buy nearly 2,000 gallons of gas at current prices every second with the money we spend on interest on our debt. if we as a nation continue down this path, washington will spend all of what it takes in for medicare, medicaid, srkts and interest on this colossal debt. everything else from defense to education will be paid for on a budget of borrowed money. so where's the money going to come from and how will we ever pay it back? well, a lot of it will come from other countries, countries who do not always have america's best interests at heart. and debt isn't just a disaster for the distant future. our debt is so unsustainable and irresponsible that even our military leaders have condemned
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it. admiral mike mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, has said the biggest threat to our national security is our debt, the debt is the threat. we do not and we should not take this biggest threat to our national security lightly. the amount of debt that we owe right now today is so high that it is hurting our employment at home. experts continue to tell us that our debt is costing us millions of jobs. meanwhile, the weekly standard reports that every stimulus job costs over a quarter of a million dollars. in other words, the white house could have just cut a check $100,000 for every american that got a job through the stimulus us will and taxpayers would have still come out ahead by $425 billion. dshedz 427 billion. spending like this cannot create jobs because by nature it makes it harder for the private sector to grow and no growth means no jobs. because of this it's harder for
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american families to buy gas, to buy groceries, to buy cars and homes, to pay tuition tort kids to go to college -- for the kids to go to clefnlgt and it is harder to create jobs for those kids who will be graduating this year, next year, and every year until we get this spending under control. everybody seems to claim that they understand that the situation is irresponsible and unsustainable. so two years ago back in february of 2009, the president called experts to the white house. he called them in for what he called a fiscal responsibility summit. in his opening remarks, here's what the president had to say. he said, "contrary to the prevailing wisdom in washington, these past few years, h we cannt simply spend as we please and defer the consequences to the next budget, the next administration, or the next generation." well, i agreed with the president. he was right. so my question to the president is: what have you done about it?
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well, one thing he's done is called together a debt commission. late last year the debt commission released their report on america's fiscal situation and the findings were sobering. according to the report, they said the problem is real, the solution will be painful, there is no easy way out, everything must be on the table. you know what else they snaid they said washington must lead. whawshes not lewashington has n. the white house makes promise after promise and speech after speech with no action to back it up. it iit is clearer than ever, tht spoken promises have become broken promises. this administration's allies in congress have no plan other than raising taxes. well, they claim to have already accepted the idea of cutting trillions of dollars from the budget, i have dwroat hear the democrat leadership endorse any
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spending cuts. where is their plan to cut wasteful washington spending? so far they've only talked about tax increases that will kill jobs and hurt our economy. raising taxes will only make matters worse. the fundamental difference in this fight is more than just practical; it is also philosophical. now, we can argue over whether raising taxes on this or on that industry will lower the debt or just raise the cost for the american people, but let me make this really simple. i'm not interested in raising taxes to expand and sustain the size and scope of our federal government. i want less government, less costly government, and that means i'm not interested in ferreting out new ways to tax people or businesses. i'm looking for ways to cut spending, to shrink the size of government. i want to dramatically reshape government to spend less, do less, and put power back into
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the private sector. that's how you raise revenue. you slash gorveghts you put people back to work. washington's persistent push to put our fiscal crisis off until tomorrow is unacceptable and must end now. and so, mr. president, i come to the floor and say as someone from wyoming, where we live within our means, where we balance our budget every year, it is time for this body, for this congress, and for this president to sign into law a balanced budget amendment to the constitution. that is an amendment which would force washington to live within its means. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, just one comment on the subject at hand, and then i want to talk about something completely different that's very significant and happening today. you know, it's -- it's so easy
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-- i listened to the senator from new jersey down here. he kept talking about only in washington what can happen, only in washington. yet never was anything said about cutting spending. it was always about passing tax increases and that's what we'll be faced with tomorrow. let me mention that just a few minutes ago i did introduce -- and we have a bill number, it's s. 1335, it is the pilot's bill of rights. this is very significant that we get this done today, and i'm going to explain y first of all, when senator john glenn from ohio retired, that left me as the last active commercial pilot on the -- in the united states senate. consequently, i probably get more complaints than anybody else does. and i -- about problems, abuses with the f.a.a. and i have to say this, that i was very complementary yesterday on so many of the people. the vast majority of the i inspectors, kohl controllers are
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so talented. the first thing i do when i go up to oshkosh each year, is i go up to where they're all gathered together and i compliment them on the fact this they are taking on the toughest job for a six-day period in oshkosh, as a volunteer. and so i love their virtues. however, you got is to keep in mind that any bureaucracy can become abusive. so i have introduced the pilot's bill of rights. the reason i'm speaking right now is we have 25 cosponsors right now 25% of the united states senate is on as cosponsors and the way that rules work around here, any of the members who might be listening right now, and i know the occupier of the chair is very concerned about this, is very active with me on this particular legislation, that any staffers who are watching, they should advise their member that they have until close of business today, probably one more hour, to be -- to put their names down. they, too,
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will be listed as original cosponsors. now, the bill simply does four things. first of all, it requires the f.a.a. for any enforcement action to make sure that the pilot out there is fully aware of what he's being accused of and -- before any ultimatums are put forth. consequently, that pilot is able to defend himself. second thing it does, it clarifies what they call statutory deference. right now the statutory deference relates to the national transportaion safety board, the ntsb. it's the only area of appeal so that if a pilot is accused of something and he looks at it and thinks it's unfair, he would have to go to the ntsb. and yet because of derchesz, they merely -- deferences, they merely rubber stamp in almost all cases what the f.a.a. does. the -- as an example, of the -- of the determination -- emergency determinations that were made last year, only one
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was actually granted and the rest of them were denied. this bill will allow, in terms of fairness, that if something is going on and they refuse to consider a case, an appellate process where the pilot can go to the federal district court and -- and be heard there. the third thing it does, has to do with notice. that's notice to airmen. it's a very significant thing. those of white house are pilots know that when we -- those of us who are pilots, know that when we go into a field, check what the notices are. that means if there's any work done on the runway, taxi way as that are closed, they will give you that -- taxiways that are closed, they will give you that information. however, it's the pilot's responsibility to do that and the f.a.a. many times doesn't even post these notems. so what we are saying in our f.a.r.'s or our laws, you've got to be responsible to know what is going on in the -- at the airport where you're going to be landing and yet there's no place you can find it. so this requires that they --
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that they revamp this system so that there is a central locati location. we specify that in the legislation so that that can be found. and then fourth and finally is another problem there in terms of medical certification. those of us who are pie localities have to have -- pilots have to have medicals and we have to have a certain feks process but -- certification process but this has been a problem for a long time. i've had countless people call me and tell me about problems they're having with their medical certification. in fact, all the requests for assistance to the aircraft owners and pilots association -- they represent hundreds of thousands of pilots -- of all the requests for assistant -- assistance that they receive each year, 28% are related to the f.a.a.'s medical certification process. and so i would say of this very simple legislation, two of them actually change the statutes so that it offers protection to pilots but the other two are working together to come up with
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a system where we can have a central location for notems as well as having a fair process on the -- for medical evaluations. now, i think it's very obvious that there is a lot of bureaucracies that -- that -- where one or two people can be bad. when i was mayor of tulsa, i can remember all it took was one or two bad cops and that gave a bad -- a black eye to everybody else. and i remember actually when i was running, it's the whole reason that i ran for office in the first place. i can remember when i was out in the -- in the private sector and i was doing things that i thought we were supposed to be doing and i had one old thing called the wrightsman oil estate. and i was going to take this old eyesore and make it into a building and preserve it as it was originally. now, "old" in my city of tulsa, oklahoma -- in this case, it was maybe 1910 or 1912.
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we weren't even a state until 1907. so this is something everybody wanted. i went to the city and i said i wanted to take a fire escape on the second floor, move it from the south to the north end, same thing, serves the same number of people, it's an eyesore. and everybody's for it, nobody's against it. and he said he can't do this until the committee meets. and, let's see, you have to have notice, it will be three more weeks before you have to have november. and a month after that -- and i said, look, everyone's for it. and he said, that doesn't matter. and i said, i'm going to run for mayor and i'm going to fire you. and so i was elected mayor and i fired him. so this is the sense of urgency. we've told all the groups, the experimental pilots association, the a.p.a., all the groups that represent these different organizations that we're going to be having this bill ready with all of our original cosponsors and then cosponsors so that when we arrive and when
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i arrive at the enof july at owner -- end of july at oshkosh, wisconsin, i'm going to do the same thing i did in 1984 that caused us to be able to pass the first product liability bill on aviation and aviation products that had the effect of changing us from a major importer of aviation products and of airplanes to a major exporter just by changing that. it was an 18-year repose bill. i did that at ash cosh with an awd -- at oshkosh with an audience of 18,000 people. these are single-issue people. and i can assure you they're going to be just as interested in this bill. so i will be presenting this and i'm going to encourage as many people up there, members of th the -- of the senate who want to get their name in today, they can be cosponsors, original cosponsors, like the occupier of the chair at the present time, and myself and 23 other members of the united states senate. with that, mr. president, i -- one last reminder. this is s. 1335.
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this is the last chance. you have one more hour to be an original cosponsor. i hope you'll join me in doing that. thank you very much. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the time for debate be extended until 7:30 p.m. with all other provisions of the previous order remaining in effect. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i wasn't going to come to the floor today but i was in the chair and i've been hearing some of the debate that's going on about this debt ceiling and i decided that once again i needed to stand and remind people what this vote is about when we get to it. and the president's heard me talk about this before. but our failure to lift the debt ceiling is not like the united states of america cutting up its credit card and saying we're not spending money anymore. it is exactly like a household at home back in colorado saying
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we overspent, we weren't careful and we're not going to pay the cable bill this month even though we owe it. or that we're not going to pay our mortgage this month even though we owe it. those are the kinds of things that in the real world lead, in worse case, to bankruptcy but in a lousy case to your interest rates going up because a bank says we're not going to pay -- we're not going to let you pay a lower interest rate for your mortgage because you're not a good credit risk. that's exactly what's going to happen to the united states of america if we reneglect on the full -- if we renege on the full faith and credit of the united states. and it was why i was so pleased to see an editorial today in the "wall street journal" called "a debt limit breakout. "and the "journal" observed that what this debate needs is -- quote -- "a breakout strategy. to wit, republicans should answer mr. obama's call for a
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tax hike in return for a lower" -- and i said this for the last 2 1/2 years in colorado, u.s. corporate tax code provides the worst of both worlds. it makes u.s. companies less competitive because we have one of the highest rates, if not the highest rate, in the world even as it raises less revenue than advertised because there are so many special interest loopholes that even though we've got this high rate that we're projecting, we're not, as the president knows, collecting the revenue that we said we needed. and finally, the journal says, "think about it. ." talking about these negotiations. "on current path, both sides are headed at best for' de minimis deal that makes everyone look bad, at worst, for a major political crackup." i think "the journal" has it exactly right and i think both of those outcomes are unacceptable to the people of
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colorado and should be unacceptable to the members of this body. a de minimis deal that somehow gets us through this but doesn't actually address the fundamental structural issues that we face is unacceptable, and a political crackup is absolutely unacceptable as well. not because of the political fate of anybody in this chamber but because what's going to happen to our economy if our interests reset because we have failed to deal with this debt ceiling issue. i've spent a lot of time in the capital markets and i know that once those interest rates reset, they're going to be reset for the rest of my life. and i am so worried that the posturing and the politicking that's been going on in this chamber is going to put us in a place where we actually run out of time to do the right thing. and i wanted to come down here today to say thank you to two republicans who came out today. to senator john mccain from arizona, who came out with this
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"wall street journal" editorial -- and by the way, i'd like to enter it into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: who came out here and said, you know what, we may not like everything in here but it makes a great deal of sense and that we need something, a game changer to deal with this debt debate that we're having right now. and i want to applaud him for that. you know, when you -- when you come to this senate, they say you can have two mentors, one is a democrat and one is a republican but you've got to ask the person if they'll do it. and i asked senator mccain if he wouldn't mind being my republican mentor. and he thought about it a little bit, he came out on the floor and he said, "i'll take you to lunch." and even though, you know, he didn't exactly support me in my last campaign, he has given me a lot of advice over the last number of months. and to see him out here today saying, you know what? we may need to think differently about this. gave me some hope that maybe we're not going to run out of time. the other person i want to say thanks to is senator chambliss from georgia who was speaking
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when i was sitting in the chair and said that everything needs to be on the table. this isn't a time to draw bright lines. it is a time to pull ourselves together, roll up our sleeves and do what's right. we have the outlines of a plan from the deficit and debt commission. i don't love everything that's in it. no one would love anything that's in it. -- everything that's in it. but we've got to find a way to compromise and come together for the -- for the benefit of our kids and for our grandkids. and i think importantly in the short term, to give american business the confidence they need to invest again in this economy. there's $2.3 billion of cash sitting on the balance sheets of -- of our nation's businesses. and there may be a lot of reasons for that but i know that one is that they're uncertain about our ability to straighten out the fiscal quagmire that we face. we've spent a lot of time on this but we haven't made a lot
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of progress and we're running out of time. so, mr. president, i would just urge that all of us come to the floor in the spirit of people that want to work across the aisle, aren't interested in drawing these bright lines and come to a -- a big deal, not a small deal, one that gets to the $4.5 trillion that the debt and deficit commission recommended, or in that direction generally, and gives us the chance to feel like we've done something useful for our kids to feel patriotic, that we actually have honored the legacy of our parents and grandparents and that we've passed along more opportunity to the next generation. i want you to know, mr. president, and i know you feel the same way, that you'll work with anybody on either side of the aisle to try to get this done. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for up to -- senate for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas is
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recognized. a senator: mr. president, thank you. it is appropriate that we're here on this july 4 holiday week and i joined a number of my colleagues last week that made it clear it was important for us to be here. mr. moran: raising the debt ceiling is a -- a significant issue that we face, and while i'm pleased to see the discussions ongoing on the senate floor today, we really do need actions that speak louder than our words. i say that knowing i'm coming here to talk about an issue that we have attempted to -- to bring to the attention of my colleagues in the senate now for a long time. we have a looming financial crisis. all the democrat leadership was capable of bringing up on the senate floor this week was a sense of the senate that wealthy americans should pay their fair share of something. and i suppose we'll have a discussion about that that
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begins -- has begun and will continue for the next few days, but i believe that americans deserve leadership in our nation's capital to confront the real fiscal challenges. not just this desire to kick the can down the road and ignore the crisis that we face, and in my view, our president and the senate leadership have failed to lead. they have failed to adopt the president's own deficit reduction commission report. the president has not proposed the results of that report. failed to pass a budget in over two years. failed to introduce a budget in our -- even in our committee this year, and the president's budget that he did propose this year is woefully inadequate in addressing the fiscal crisis, the deficits that we face. crafting a budget is one of the basic responsibilities of
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congress, but it hasn't happened. no country, business or family can operate responsibly without a budget. i serve on the appropriations committee. i would love to have a budget that set the guidelines for us to begin the process of determining how much money we should spend, what things might be increased, decreased or eliminated. without a budget, the appropriation process continues to falter, and in fact it wouldn't be surprising but once again we end up with either an omnibus spending bill or a continuing resolution. the president and senate democrats have said they are serious about dealing with our nation's debt crisis but actions will speak louder than words. the truth is that the president's budget and the policies of this administration have made our problems worse. during the last two years, the government has spent more than than $7.3 trillion and increased the nation's debt in just two years by more than than $3.2 trillion. the president is missing and the senate is dysfunctional.
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the struggling economy we are experiencing and the financial collapse around the corner is the most expected economic crisis in our lifetime, yet nothing is being done to stop it. the cochairs of the president's own fiscal commission have said the same thing and have warned that if we fail to take swift and serious action, the u.s. faces -- quote -- "the most predictable economic crisis in its history." they predict such an event could occur in two years or less. it's time to move past empty rhetoric and get serious about confronting the debt crisis. delaying difficult decisions and increasing the debt ceiling once again without making any changes the way washington spends taxpayer dollars is, should not be an option. we cannot afford business as usual. the president's solution is to raise revenues to balance the budget, but does anyone really believe that increased taxes will be used to pay down the debt or will it just be used for even more spending? history showed that money raised
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in washington, d.c., results in more spending in washington, d.c. when families struggle to pay the bills, they don't simply ask for a pay raise. they cut their spending. the revenue increases we need are not tax increases but increased revenues that come from a growing economy. the last time we had a balanced budget was at the end of president clinton's term. yes, there was some spending restraint and republicans and democrats couldn't get along well enough to agree to spend a bunch of money, but the real reason the budget was balanced was that people were working and paying their taxes. we need a growing economy once again to balance the budget. increasing taxes reduces the chances of economic growth and the lack -- and the inability to create more and better jobs. if we increase taxes, we reduce the chance of economic growth and we reduce the chance of more and better-paying jobs. in kansas, for example, the president proposes that we
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increase taxes on those who own a business plan. an airplane is a pretty important component of our state's economy, and it would have a -- this proposal would have a devastating impact upon the wichita economy which has already suffered the loss of thousands of jobs under a declineing business in this country. now is not the time to penalize a u.s. industry that produces the best quality airplanes in the world. the u.s. and north america ship a significant amount of business jets worldwide, more than any other region in the world, but because of the recession, nearly every manufacturer has had to cut jobs, some up to 50% of their work force. we see this in kansas day in and day out, and yet the proposal is to make it more expensive to own an aircraft. this doesn't punish the owners of aircraft. it punishes the people who work every day to make an airplane. to turn our economy around and put people back to work,
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congress and the obama administration should be implementing policies that encourage job creation, not diminish the chances. rein in burdensome government regulations, replace our convoluted tax code with one that is fair and simple and certain, open foreign markets for american manufactured goods and agricultural goods and develop a comprehensive energy policy, and yet none of these things are being done by this senate. spending more has failed to stimulate our economy. instead, we should cut government spending to reduce our deficit, cap spending so it doesn't continue to eat up more and more of our gross domestic product, and balance our budget so we don't get back in this mess once again. first, it's time to cut government spending and change the way that washington, d.c., spends taxpayer dollars. 40 cents of every dollar of our federal government spending is borrowed. 100% of our tax revenue is spent on mandatory spending and interest payments on the debt. everything else, defense, homeland security, energy,
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education, is borrowed. this year, we will collect collect $2.2 trillion and spend spend $3.7 trillion, a a $1.5 trillion deficit. c.b.o. now projects, the congressional budget office projects that debt held by the public will exceed 100% of gross domestic product by 2021 under current policies. this is a 10% increase in debt relative to c.b.o.'s projections of only a year ago. the debate over government spending is often seen as one that's philosophical or a partisan bickering that always goes on in washington, d.c. and certainly i have heard all of my adult life conversations that go on in washington, d.c., and on the talk shows and in the newspapers that talk about republicans, democrats arguing about balancing the budget and how much money we can spend, but the reality is this time it's different and the failure to act can have dramatic consequences on the daily lives of americans.
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this is about whether or not americans can find a job, can make payments on their homes and automobiles, whether their kids have a bright future and can pursue the american dream. this is not a philosophical discussion for washington, d.c. this has real consequences for every american family. we are not, unfortunately, immune from the laws of economics that face every nation, and the failure to get our financial house in order and borrowing under control will lead to increased inflation, higher interest rates, fewer jobs, and a lower standard of living for every american. our creditors may one day decide we are no longer creditworthy, and we will suffer the same consequences that other countries are now suffering who followed that path. we should learn from them. secondly, it's time to cap discretionary spending this year and next. we must demand enforceable statutory caps to return federal spending to 18% of gross domestic product where it's been for almost all of the past 60 years. current federal spending is now nearly 25% of gross domestic
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product and remains on track to be high over the course of the next ten years. third, we must pass a balanced budget. this amendment to the united states constitution is the best way to discipline government officials. this amendment would require the president to submit and congress to pass a balanced budget each and every year, cap federal spending at no more than 18% of gross domestic product and require two-thirds vote of the house and senate to raise taxes. nothing here is unreasonable. cut spending, cap the percentage of spending to g.d.p. and pass a balanced budget amendment. when did it become radical or even irresponsible to live within our means? we know what is going to happen if we don't act, and it would be immoral for us to look the other way or kick the can down the road because splix of these issues are too difficult to deal with. officials in the obama administration warn that the failure of congress to raise the legal speed limit would risk default but the bigger economic
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threat that confronts our country are the consequences of allowing our country's pattern of spending and borrowing to continue without a serious plan to reduce that debt. our out-of-control debt is slowing our economic growth and threatening the prosperity of future generations who will have to pay for our irresponsibility. our government is not on the verge of financial meltdown because republicans won't vote to raise the debt ceiling. we are at the point of financial collapse because republicans and democrats have spent money we don't have for way too long. we must use the leverage that raising the debt ceiling now presents to force elected officials to do something they otherwise would not do -- curb spending, grow the economy and balance the budget. if we fail to respond, if we fail to act as we should, if we let one more time this issue pass for somebody else to solve because it's so difficult, we will reduce the opportunities that the next generation of americans have to pursue the
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american dream. mr. president, i note the lack of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. lautenberg: i ask unanimous consent that further calling of the roll be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lautenberg: thank you, mr. president. we are here trying to figure out where america goes in the near future, but where it goes in the long term because decisions that we make here are going to have a long-lasting effect. what we hear and the american people are witnessing over tv is that the republicans are playing with fire, and millions of
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americans are in danger of getting scorched. it reminds us some of those who played the fiddle while rome burned. the republicans are willing to allow our country to go into default rather than ask the wealthiest among us to pay their fair share. the republican side of the capitol is clear. they say don't ask our millionaire friends to contribute anything more to keep our ship of state afloat. yeah, the ride is going to be bumpier for everyone, but that's life. why shouldn't the middle class
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pay something extra, they ask? after all, there are so many of them. in fact, the republican senator was on the floor this afternoon saying that the wealthy are overburdened. it's not easy, i guess, to pick out a new car every year, maybe make sure your reservations for your trip abroad are made or make renovations for the house in order. life gets complicateed for the -- if you're rich. these decisions don't come easy. the senator who spoke this afternoon complained that the poor and the middle class -- and i quote it here -- need to share some of the responsibility here. so there it is. it's the poor and the middle class that need to sacrifice once again but not the wealthy.
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the fat cats sit purring on the front deck while middle-class workers are breaking their backs. middle-class workers should have to explain to their kids why they can't afford to help them get a college education. the democrats know that the way to keep our country strong is to educate every young pearn capable of learning -- young person capable of learning. and what's the real cost of millionaire protection? this risk is economic calamity for middle-class families across the country if we make a mistake here as we deal with the raising of the debt ceiling, with the problems of the budget. mr. president, it's time to stop protecting millionaires. when so much is needed from everyone who can help this country regain its footing.
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if the republicans force default on our debt, it could mean tens of millions of americans might not receive their social security checks. mr. president, retirees and disabled americans on fixed incomes depend on social security for survival. but social security is only the beginning. if the republicans insist on pushing the government into default, the men and women who wear our country's uniforms may not even get their paychecks. right now there are 140,000 brave americans risking death and injury in afghanistan and iraq. do we reduce our responsibility to them because republicans don't want to burden millionaires? additionally, payments to
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doctors under medicare, medicaid could be suspended. where do the seniors and needy americans turn then in the event of an urgent medical problem? at a time when nearly 14 million americans are out of work and struggling to keep food on the table, unemployment benefits could lapse. we're talking about the possibility of people without incomes, people unable to sustain their basic needs. in addition to destroying the safety net for ordinary americans, a default crisis would likely threaten america's position as the economic giant of the world, as we see the possibility of widespread panic on wall street and the damage to the credit markets that could lead to the loss of millions of jobs across the country. the question has to be answered,
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mr. president: why are the republicans willing to walk on this economic tightrope to win favor among wealthy contributors? it's because they don't sufficiently value the human infrastructure that enabled the millionaires to make their millions. they're insisting on protecting tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. they want to keep subsidizing big oil companies to the tune of $4 billion a year in tax breaks. and when -- i look at what our leader, majority leader is proposing, i'm proud to be a cosponsor of a commonsense resolution introduced by him. the resolution says, "americans who earn a million dollar or more a year should pick up the shovel and help their country dig its way out of the disaster instead of just playing politi politics." the american people see through
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the republic games. protecting the rich while middle-class families lose jobs, homes, and the belief that their children have a chance at success that their forebearers dreamed about. they say we should ask the wealthy to pay more to reduce the deficit and yet the republicans fries to close outrageous -- republicans refuse to close ute outrageous tax loopholes. look at what the c.e.o.'s of these companies are being paid. exon mobile. they made over $11 billion in a quarter. the c.e.o. gets paid $29 -- got paid in 2010 $29 million. conocophillips, their c.e.o. made $18 million in 2010. chevron, the c.e.o. was paid $16
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million in 2010. the facts are clear and so are the republican priorities. they don't want the giant corporations and the wealth dhi to lose their lucrative tax loopholes but the republicans want to end medicare as we know it forcing seniors to pink an extra $6,000 a year for their health care. and the question has got to be asked: why are the republicans trying to slow the economic recovery? why run the risk of financial collapse just three years after the las last one? do they believe that destroying the economy now will help them during next year's election? what a terrible thought that is. we heard the minority leader say his number-one priority is stopping this president from winning another term. and our number-one priority ought not to be to destroy lives
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for political gain. it ought to be restoring our economy and creating jobs, making sure all americans can share in what this great country has to offer. and, the question lurks here: what is it that propels this unyielding refusal to ask those who make a million dollars a year or more to participate some in restoring our economic viability? the bottom line is avoiding a default crisis and it requires all to participate, or we could witness the failure of a nation that's survived for more than 200 years -- 200 years as a beacon of freedom, liberty, and democracy, with great risk of
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substantial failure in the future, if we don't raise the debt ceiling. so we end up -- the democrats feel the need to protect the basic values that have made this dream heard over the centuries "only in the america" a realty and we have to continue to place the values -- a reality, and we have to continue to place the values that we treasure in our society going forward in the future. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor, and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. lautenberg: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. lautenberg: i ask unanimous consent that calling of the roll be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lautenberg: i further ask unanimous consent that if the finance committee meets tomorrow at 9:00 ale it b a.m., it be aud to meet tomorrow during the session of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lautenberg: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, -- mr. president, again, i note the
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absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. lautenberg: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that further calling of the rolling dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection nc, the senator from w jersey. mr. lautenberg: mr. president, i changed the order here, and i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up -- to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. lautenberg: mr. president, i further ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on thursday, july 7, that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, and the time for the two leaders to be reserved for their use later in the day. that following any leader remarks, the senate resume the motion to proceed to calendar number 93, s. 1323, a bill to express the sense of the senate on shared sacrifice in resolving the budget deficit with time until 10:00 a.m. equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with senators permitted to speak for up ten minutes each, and that at 10:00 a.m., the senate conduct a roll call vote on the motion to invoke on the motion to proceed
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to s. 1323. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lautenberg: mr. leader, there will be a vote tomorrow morning at approximately 10:00 a.m., and, mr. president, if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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spain mission control, houston. >> roger, discovery. >> nasa is on schedule for the final mission of the space shuttle program this friday with the launch of sts-135 that lantos. look back at the shuttle probe ram starting with the launch of sts one columbia 30 years ago and explore what is ahead for nasa on line at the c-span video library. search, watch clip and share any time. >> next remarks from senator david vitter of louisiana.
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he called on congress to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. senator chuck schumer responds saying it would take years to pass and congress needs to do something now. he also questioned senator vitter's support for the ryan budget. this is 25 minutes. >> thank you madam president. madam president, first i rise ta celebrate that weda are finallyn finally after months and months of doing everything under the sun but facing our gravestin challenge, spending and debt, wo are finally focused on that, on. the floor of the united states s senate. w and that is progress. we have a long way to go, but at least that is progress.g for months, i have been urging us as a body, urging theder distinguished majority leader the floor, please let's focus on our gravest challenge, federal spending and debt right here on the floor of the senate.or
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not wait till the 11th hour.ere not wait until a great miss atmosphere round the debt limit, let's have a constructive debate with meaningful legislation on the floor about spending and debt. and four months and once did unfortunately, we did everything but that on the floor of the u.s. senate. the majority leader looks for every bill, every topic but that and it was all sorts of cats and dogs, many of them quite frankly trivial unnecessary legislation particularly impaired students grave challenge of spending and. debt.nally, finally, last week a g lroup ofh conservatives said enough is enough.d we we said we shouldn't go out on our planned july 4 recess,ll july 4 break which was scheduled to bewe all of this week and we said we are going to block thath it takes unanimous consent for that to happen. we are going to block it. we
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sure enough we did. then we said wait a minute. wet are not locking that to be here just to be here. we herere and continue to move onto every other issue under the sun but spending and debt. we did that to finally focus on the floor of the united states senate on this gravest of all ot our current challenges, federal spending and debt. and so we said we are going to tooceeainst the motion proceed to the libya debate. now libya is an important mattea and in fact that debate is long overdue in congress. those those are long overdue, but that challenge does not rise to the level of our greatest fundamental challenge right nowd as a nation, spending and debt. so we said we are going to block that motion to proceed to yeter another unrelated matter and wed did. we rounded up the votes for thed
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last half weekend we got those necessary votes to block that motion to proceed and as a result the distinguished majority leader told that both, that she hated that cloture vote yesterday. sod finally, finally we have an instrument on the senate floor, a motion on theio senate floor about that central challenge we face, spending and debt so that is progress. i urge all of my colleagues to j come down and join this most important debate and i continue to urge the majority leader to put meaningful substantiveor legislation on the floor about this topic.ave we have motions on the senate resolutions. it focuses us on the t proper topic, spending and debt workout that is progress but of course a sense of the senate resolution
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does not n do anything, does not change anything so we still have further to go in terms of bringing meaningful legislation toon the floor on this our gravt challenge, federal spending and debt. now why do i d insist that thiss our top challenge at hand? speak well, the facts. >> for themselves. of every dollar the federal governments, spends, of everyll dollar over 40 cents is borrowed money. over 40 cents of every dollar. imagine if you ran your household that way.r. it wouldn't take long for you to hit a financial dead-end and virtual bankruptcy. if out of every 1 dollar your family was spending 40 cents was borrowed money.oes t what does that mean? it means we are collecting is a nation, this is a federal government about $2.2 trillion a year.
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that is a lot of money, $2.2 trillion. the problem is we are spending $3.7 trillion.e' way, way, way more than we are collecting. mor the distinguished majority whipn mentioned entitlement spending and i agree with him.bi that is ag big part of the issu which we must face and a c careful, substantive way. because medicare is one of those big entitlement programs. it too is on an unsustainable path. the average americanab pays abot $110,000 into medicare over his or her lifetime. l a lot of money, but on average, that average american receives in benefits over $300,000 under medicare.o there again, it is not tough to do the math. that is unsustainable.
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when the average american pays and $110,000 in receipts in benefits over $300,000. social security. another huge entitlement program. this year, it is taking in lessn than it is spending on currentat retirees. day that day of reckoning was going to be several years down the road. it has been accelerated. it is here and it is here now,ow right now. social security is taking in tax revenue less than it is t giving -- paying out in benefits to retirees.oes and so what does this mean as of end up-and-up? h soav we have more new debt under this administration, more new debt under president obama than the debt compiled under all of i the previous presidents combined from george bush to the next george, the latest george, george w. bush.more
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more new debt under this resident band debt accumulatedfm from all of those previous presidents combined. we must do something and we must do something about the real problem, spending and debt. washington in aha bipartisan way has a spending problem. we're the fundamental problem isn't that we are undertaxed. we all know that. no matter what station in life we come from.em is ite fundamental problem is that washington doesn't live within its means like we need to as our families sitting around our tables. and so, washington has a fundamental spending and debtl rob lum and we need realorou solutions, rigorous discipline solutions to get that underconto control. how do we go about that? well, to me, it really comeshree down to three important things.
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cuts, cap and balance. cuts, cap and balance.we nd cut. we need to cut the budget now. we need to cut the budget this year and next year. we need immediate meaningful cuts and that is why those immediate, meaningful cuts in the federal t budget. we can't put a meaningful cuts y for one year or five yearsea or0 years. we need them right now. now a few weeks ago we had some budget proposals on the floor.cn we had several republican proposals and obama's proposed budget. the obama budget didn't cut any meaningful way. i at double the debt in five years and tripled the dead in 10. on the republican side we had three different alternatives, all of which cutve the budget ia
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meaningful way and i voted for all three. so we need to start now, today, with cuts. but that is not enough. that a short-term. we need immediate cuts.term we need medium-term caps and we need balance. and so caps, what do i mean by a caps? i mean, we need establish spending caps in each major category of the budget that takes some sort of extraordinary supermajority in the congress to supersede. so we need a glide path to get to those caps to a balanced a budget in a reasonable period of time. there are several proposals in this body.thers there are several proposals in the s house.ho mostly from the republican conservative side, virtually all of them, to establish those caps to get us on that disciplined mandatory path so we preach that balanced budget.bu
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and there againdg finally, the goal needs to be a balanced a budget, and it can't be a goal b generations off. it can't be a goal decades off. it needs to be a goal within our sites. and the only way ultimately i believe we can absolutely ensurd that is through a balanced budget constitutional amendment. and i'm very proud to be a co-author along with all of my republicanit colleagues, every single one of us co-author of a strong, meaningful, substantive balanced budget constitutional amendment. this has been debated in this hu body and the house for some time. last time it was voted on on the floor of the u.s. senate, came within one vote of passing. we need to have this ultimate protection straitjacket and
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enforce discipline to say we are going to get you into a balanced budget and we are going to stay there. we are not going to get into thy state again. virtually every state in the country has such a balanced budget constitutional amendment under their state constitution. and that enforce discipline works. that straitjacket of the state level works. it works in my state of louisiana. we have such a provision in our state constitution that says yoe can't have a state budget that is not balanced and guess what?, that mandate, that straitjacket works in every year thestraja legislature working with theck governor, reduced a balanced w budget.ng wh and if they go out of section -- session and a month later revenues fall in the budget goes out of balance, gues bs what? they have to come back and a set period of time and they have to rebalance thatit'sn budgetot. it is not fun. it is not easy.
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it has been particularly the difficult in this volatileer economy for the last several years. but, because of that mandate, ct because of that constitutional provision, it gets done and that is what we need at the federalwe level. we need a balanced budget, constitutional amendment.it cut, cap and balance. it is anta important formula, simple but substantive, to get us to where we need to be.senath >> the senator has consumed 12 minutes. >> thank you adam president.dam so i urge all of my colleagues, democrats and republicans to come together and continue thiso debate and move it to the next level. as i said when i began the firsr thing i want to do is celebratey
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progress. we are finallyon here on the senate floor actually talking p about our most pressing challenge, spending andss debt. but, it is a procedural motion, so t let's get to the real substance by having the legislation.gislio cut, captain balanced legislation put on the floor of the senate, open to amendments,n open to a wide-ranging debate. that is the history and tradition of the senate.unfoun unfortunatelyat it hasn't been e practice of the senate all that much in recent years that we are trying to get back to that.th so let's put that meaningful substantive legislation about spending and debt on the floride senate, have that debate, have e amendments, have the free flow of ideas. b cuts, cap and balance. we can getal there.an we can do the work of the american people. he can reign in this runaway
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federal spending and debt, and we must. and we must now because if we failbe to meet this challenge, this year, if we fail to meet this challenge this year, i believe there are going to be dire, dire consequences for our economy and for all american families as a result. havinghi this topic on the floor of the s senate is a start, butt is only a start. let's build on this.antive but put substantive legislation on the floor about debt. thank you madam president and i yield the floor. >> the senator from new york. >> before you begin on my time e would like to ask my colleague from louisiana if you would answer a question. >> i would be happy to. t >> i:my colleague and he is right, we should move on this
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year. we certainly agree with that and of course ain balanced budget amendment wouldn't take effect . for years to come but my college is rooted for the brian budgetch which actually increase the deficit. only did it not move deficit numbers down, but it increased i the deficit, so how can he reconcile all of this nice grandiose talk about a balanced budget amendment with voting for a budget that actually increase the deficit? >> first of all i voted for that budget as well as the tammy budget. the tammy budget which was my to first choiceme preference balans the budget in 10 years. that would be my first choice. the ryan budget gets us way down the path compared to anything else propose on the democratic o side like the president's budget which on the senate floor votually got zero votes out of 100. so while the ryan budget is not my first choice, it is a dramatic improvement on the path
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we are currently on. >> i would just note to my college reclaiming my time that- the ryan budget is not a dramatic step in that directione the ryan budget as i understand it does not do d anything in the first decade to reduce the deficit. cuts a lot of spending but it also cuts taxes and it raises defense spending. >> if i may respond to the the chair? that is not true. it reduces the deficit. it doesn't balance the budget within the 10udth year window ww is my strong preference. the tammy budgetfe does that it gets us going in the right direction and reduces the deficit and it is a particularly dramatic improvement over anything proposed by this administration and i:my. colleague trico.coll >> i thank my colleague and i woulde. say it is time to walk e walk, not talk the talk. whenever folks that to -- refused to step up to the plateb toal balancean the budget, the t
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president to do so being bill clinton they start talking about it way distance in the futureth this amendment they talk about is not going to solve our problems in the next five yearso we have to get to work right now and that is what we are trying to do on the side with a fair and balanced approach.h. a balanced budget amendment that my colleague speaks about would, if you look by its announced 18% deeper than the ryan budget and would and medicare as we know it, would mean that things that we takefo for granted like food safety inspectors and -- inspectors would have to be cut and then it makes it to close tax loopholes for millionaires andot billionaires. it is not a balanced budget amendment. it is an unbalanced budget amendment because it simply reflects an ideological viewgi that my good colleague and friend from louisiana has butoes does not reflect the views of e either a majority of this
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chamber or certainly the american people. the so, let's walk the walk. let's not just talk the talk. i think that is very important to note. cutting spending, which is done in the ryan budget is not goingf to work in terms of balancing the bunldget. you just can't unless you decimate things like medicare, without revenues. that is what i'm here to talkod about today. i rise today in support of the sense of the senate on sharedab sacrifice. the clock is ticking. time is running short to reach a deal on a reducing the deficit n raising and raising the debtisin ceiling. we are walking the walk and i think we are talking the talkbo about someut if emerald balanced budget amendment that is unbalanced and will not pass.d yesterday the president said that we needed to reach a deal within two weeks in order to avoid roiling the financial
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markets. democrats are working in good s faith. c identifying spending cuts and tax loopholes to close and whats are our republican colleagues doing?lking ou well,t since stalking out of tg association two weeks ago they are sticking to their blind ideology and laying politicalest games like inviting the president to come to the capitol when capital when they know he can't, to deliver a message he has are the herd. and republican leaders have continued to insist that we can't raise a single dollar in revenue no matter how wasteful the tax breaks or how generous the subsidy. mr. president, here is what it is coming down to. madam president, here is what it is coming down to. hom in the home stretch ofn negotiations our republican colleagues seem to be willing to tank the economy rather than and a single tax subsidy. democrats are committed tond reducing the deficit, gettingk o our nation back on a sensible
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fiscal trap.everne but we m know that everyone must pay their fair share. be we know there has to be compromisese to get angst done. you can just draw a line in the sand and say my way or no way. o it will lead to fiscalmageon armageddon. so over the past several weeks, we have offered a number ofuld wasteful tax breaks that should be ended as part of the debt ceiling deal. ending subsidies for the oil and gas industry, making record indr profits. m the ethanol industry with 36 eth members on the floor including theol majority leader support ie to their credit.rp corporate jet owners will save tens of billions ofor dollars. c paradoxically our republican colleagues are now arguing that tax breaks for oil companies and corporate jet owners are too small to consider ending. they have argued that because it will only save taxpayers tens oh billions of dollars. they say that is not enough ande so we shouldn't be discussing them now.
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well mr. president i disagree.wc tens of billions of dollars than we can save on wasteful subsidies are certainly worth pursuing, but let's turn our attention to the matter at hand. one of the biggest of all taxpayer giveaways that democrats are trying to end, tad breaks for millionaires and billionaires. i rise today in strong support of the senate resolution tha rtf said simply, instead of ending medicare as we know it, instead of cutting college scholarshipsd and cancer research, instead of balancing the budget solely onth the backs of the middle class, let's and tax breaks for rept millionaires and billionaires.ce let me repeat o that because tht is the essence of our dispute here, but our disagreement. we can't varnish it any other way. i know the other side tries to say they are raising taxes, w trying to imply that we want to deal with our middle-class people. we
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incomes below 250,000 in some of us even go higher, 500,000, 1 million but everyone obuf us n the site says if you are a millionaire, you should sharend some of the sacrifice. the other side resistant and they try to hide by saying it ii raising taxes. o it is not raising taxes on averageol folks. it is not raising taxes at all.n is simply going back to the level under bill clinton where we had record prosperity, rep jobs and record income growth for the high-end people as well as m middle-class people with let a repeat why we have thishe resolution on the floor.instd here's what it says.s w instead of ending medicare as we know it, instead of cutting college scholarships and cancer research, instead of balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class, let's and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. this would save overndreds $100 billion a year andnd hundrs and hundreds of billions in the long run. is not just a small amount.
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i ask my republican colleague, isni that savings is significani enough to at least merit discussion and not just take it off the table? as w the gop budget would and medicare as we know know it, to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthiest americans. the resolution says simply, don't let that happen. he let me say this, i respectmany people who of have made a lot o. money. there are many of them in my state. they work hard. t god bless them. but many of them when you talk to them they are the first to say they should share in the sacrifice. there are some who say no, but i don't think they represent mainstream america or mainstream american opinion. in normal times this would be at consensus opinion, the fact that we shouldn't that a cure is we know it. dolrs to give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the t richeshatt americans. in normal times that would be a consensus position.rs
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republican presidents and political leaders have long supported raising revenue combined with cutting spending to reduce deficits. ronald reagan for instance. because he was, he wanted toas shrink government but he was fiscally responsible. but the republican party has been dragged so far to the right by an ideological french that theyap now see this balanced approach as an extreme position. what it comes down to is this. would republicans rather and medicare then and tax breaks foa billionaires? it is a simpleim choice. and this resolution will make the answer to that question clear.ub again, will republicans do anything even risk a default to protect tax breaks on the highest income people, millionaires and billionaires? and with a rather and medicarett and solely rely on cuts that hurt the middle class than itsua had that some tax subsidies sucg
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as those for big oil companies and corporate jet owners are a waste of taxpayer dollars. well madam president, we will soon find out. i yield the floor.son: >> i rise this morning tamo talk about the meeting the presidentg has called to the white house. the summit i think has beenmm referred to one forit which i he great hope. i hope where both sides leave theiross weapons at t the doors and sattr across the table from oneehenve another and begin talking about a comprehensive solution to a comprehensiveprob problem. prob, the solution to that problem though does not lie in creatinga and bill. and the last two weeks we havefm heard a lot of rhetoric coming from the white house demonizing people who havera corporate jets or demonizing people who make over a million dollars. id was reminded in this debate about millionaires and theit was debate in 1969, one of the first debates i watch. ever churned home from the service and it again my business and the report, the newspaperve
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that 155 americans made over $1 million paid zero taxes. i personally was astounded. everybody else was astounded ano congressmen to work to close the loopholes and they did by creating something known as thet alternative minimum tax, something to make sure someone x had paid no tax at least pay their fair share and i put that in quotes.nati today 34,200,000 americans are. because oftentimes when congress goes to target one person they catch everybody in a g bigger loop. i don't think b we need to demonize those who employ americans, those who create the jobs, those who make our economy run anymore than we should fill a nice people who want to save social security or medicare. or the president and his two speeches last week targeted millionairesin and targeted job creators and created enemies. nonees of this will help us to solve the palm.th the present is not the only one playing that game.cism a little bit of c criticism can to both sides. as we look at the charset on tht
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floor for the last two weeks about what is happening last 30 months when the president was up elected. unemployment is up by 1.9 million people, 17% in termm of the rate.dera d gaseb prices are almost double. the federal debt is up 35% but remember it was 10 trillion of the president is elected so does not just the presidents fault but he is making it worse. debt per person is up by $11,250 in health insurance premiums bys almost 20%. that the in the last 30 months are the expectations of the americanhatr people are? dictations of what are future is going to be for a moment i would like to offer historical suggestions as to what both sides can doeave tomorrow at the white house when they leave the weapons at thendr door,ll sit at the table and really begin to negotiate. to look back in history when we have had problems and became up with big solutions. pu in 1980 is a particular time. i was in the state legislaturen. then.rs o in fact when i was 39 years old
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in 1983 ronald reagan and tip o'neal had a meeting at the whitese house.ngik allegedly it went something likc this.ia going the president said social b security is going broke in about 20 years. we just got a report.ix we need to fix it that and the other said i agree. the president said i am notll willing to raise the tax and tax o'neal said i'm going to work on it but i don't want to cut want benefits. they looked at the actuary and said what do we do?at the actuary said you push the eligibility out and you get thek system back in actuarial soundness. was i 3 was 39 in 1983.have bee i would have been collecting social security at the age of 65 in two and 2010. because reagan and neal got together they push my eligibility up a one-year 2866, not age 65 and now incrementally goes up too much year to save 67 in a few years. that is actuarial soundness for 67 years. n theow reason it is now all of a sudden in trouble again is thept protective economy and theserapl
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difficulties have caused people and baby boomers to go to theecy bank and have social securityy l collect early social security aa age 62 so we have had a rush to social security because thetain unemployment and the uncertainty in our economy. reagan and o'neal fix social security by pushing the t eligibility of.ey did they didn't raise the tax butpon they did raise the ceiling upon which was levied. i think it is interesting politically and theyid know the president should understand and all the should recognize the next yearne was 1984 and presen4 reagan won 49 of 50 states year after year after he fix socialug security so i don't think wenize ought to demonize people for trying to save the biggerit. problems of our debt and deficit. everybody in this room knows that you could cut every discretionary dollar out and you still owe $300 billion in the deficit. we are only going to fix social security and medicare are theoig only ways we t are going to fix the debt and deficit. w on medicare i was disappointed that when paul ryan in the house came up with a forthright plan..
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he was immediately demonized and in fact he was invited to thecid white house and criticizedpresid face-to-faceen teleconference wh the president. that was just forit trying. is about time all of us started trying. we start to try common ground.gd we start to look at solutions ia a comprehensive way.e it is not time we stop calling names and said we start callingt numbers. we start looking at what it is we can do within our control to put our spending back in line and amortize her dad over time to a reasonable amount and reduce our deficit over time.nes it ies not going to be fixed wih one stroke of a pen or one single piece of legislation but it is going to begin to be fixen on both sides sit down to thefhe table and understand this is the fourth quarter of the major a super bowl of the future of the united states of america and continue to shootnd each other d throw bricks and bats and creatl victims and enemiesro and not tl about the real problems is just making it worse for all of us. it is time we made it better fos the american people. i spent the weekend with the american people that live in the
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state of georgia celebrating our independence for the fourth of july and spending some time with five of my nine grandchildren. remember saturday night watching my grandchildren play in the den looking downng at them.g them i was just watching them play and i thought about theirboutha future.fure i thought about but their future was going to be like in a country thatt ran on unlimited debt and deficit and lowered ito expectations. if was not the america i've beeb fortunate to live work and be borne i in. in recognizing my time i know that my future and the the years of life but there'll about thosf children and those grandchildren. i want to be a part of thef solution to the problem today but a part of their expectations for the future.an i don't want them to look back and say granddad made it worse.s i want them to look back and saa granddad made it better.ent t tomorrow is an opportunity for the president of the unitedhe hs states to leave.h. he has to choose to make isolated enemies and shoot them at people or you can t instead look back at his death as a whii
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commissioned. is deficit commission which i v voted for by the way. redor i was one of the republicans that voted for the creation of the death of the commission. they came back with ame confirmation that dell was osha carrion didn't deal with medicare. dealt with with a tax cut ined t spending and lowered tax rates and raise the opportunity of the president didn't even let it come to the for fore the congress of the united states. he looked the other way. w it is time we look straight in each other's eyes and say theret are solutionshe out there the gd people with good will can find a way to do just what ronald reagan and tip o'neill did.'neil but i don't want to be a part it just may get worse. i want to be parted just making itma better. i hope those in the conferencetr tomorrow sit down with that type of attitude.reat e we don't create enemies and villains and don't make it worse but weai begin apart warm and a template when the next three to four weeks we can begin to amortize or debt over timeze oud reduce oureb deficit over time, raised expectations raise the expectations of the american people and cause